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Tuesday, 9 February 2021 - Brussels Revised edition

Humanitarian and political situation in Yemen (debate)

  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, the crisis in Yemen is going into its sixth year, and we cannot stand by as over half of Yemen’s 30 million people threaten to fall into extreme food insecurity, as a senseless war that has killed half a million continues to rage on with no regard for human life. Fifty thousand infants die in Yemen each year and thousands of children are on the brink of starvation today.

High Representative, I commend the work the Commission and the Member States have done to prevent a greater humanitarian disaster in Yemen. But this is the moment to step up. The funding shortages faced by aid organisations must be addressed immediately. We have to be honest: acute humanitarian aid only wins you the battle and not the war. All parties to this gruesome conflict must return to the UN negotiating table.

Some welcome steps have been made in recent weeks. After years, the internationally recognised government returned to Yemen, and just days ago US President Biden reversed the previous administration’s disastrous policy on Yemen. By ending support for the Saudi—led coalition, he was loud and clear: this conflict has no military solution. Yemen doesn’t just need food, it needs peace. This is the time to deliver.

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