In response to Secretary of State Pompeo's announcement of a terrorist designation in Yemen, CARE is extremely concerned that a group terrorist designation of the de facto authorities in northern Yemen will have devastating consequences for millions of people in need of urgent humanitarian support. At least 70% of the population lives in northern Yemen, where the highest needs exist due to ongoing conflict, including 47,000 people who are likely to experience catastrophic levels of food insecurity in 2021 according to recent data.
“This is coming at the absolute most difficult time when over 16 million Yemeni women, children and men are living in severe and worsening food insecurity,” says Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA. This particular designation is tantamount to a cease and desist order for the humanitarian response in northern Yemen and its impacts will lead to more despair and lives lost across the whole of the country.
Yemen is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with up to 26 million people in need of assistance, and the humanitarian response is severely underfunded—exacerbated in part by the ongoing suspension of U.S. aid in the north. A group terrorist designation will critically constrain an already over-stretched humanitarian operation and exacerbate the hunger crisis.
Yemen’s economy has been devastated during the conflict, with people unable to afford the basics they need to survive. Yemen imports up to 90% of all its food, fuel, and medical supplies; if these imports are disrupted, which is a likely outcome of the designation, it would destroy Yemeni communities’ last shreds of coping capacity. The UN has already warned of potential famine - this could push people over the brink.
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