WASHINGTON D.C. — With more than 75 percent of its population (20.7 million people) in need of humanitarian assistance, Yemen is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises seen in years. From famine to cholera, war-torn Yemen is struggling to attain even basic relief packages. In response to this emergency, the Yemen Security and Humanity Act (H.R. 2795) was introduced in the House. It will focus on expanding famine relief in Yemen.
Sponsored by U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA-37), the Yemen Security and Humanity Act is meant to prioritize famine relief in Yemen. With 7 million Yemenis, many of them children, facing extreme hunger, this act will provide the legislation needed to construct a comprehensive agenda to deliver aid.
The act references startling figures to support the U.S.’s moral obligation to the crisis occurring in Yemen. It emphasizes that in Yemen, a child dies every 10 minutes from malnutrition and disease, which can be prevented with U.S. aid. The bill also notes that the World Food Programme classified Yemen as “on the brink of ‘full scale famine.”
In addition to the humanitarian responsibility of the U.S., this act also stresses the importance of Yemen as a national security interest. According to the act, “disease, war, and desperate poverty in Yemen threaten United States core values and strategic priorities for combating global terror.” Thus, it is in the diplomatic interest of the U.S. to provide relief to Yemenis in need, because stability can help prevent further violence.
While this act has yet to pass, it has five cosponsors who are passionate about intervening in this emergency. This act was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee as well as the House Armed Services Committee. Since haste is critical to the millions of Yemenis facing this crisis, it is important that the Yemen Security and Humanity Act is prioritized by the House.
– Kelly Hayes