In Yemen, U.S. seeks peace, provides humanitarian aid

Antony Blinken (right) and person with laptops sitting at conference table, with TV screen on wall (State Dept./Freddie Everett)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right) participates from Washington in the 2021 High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen March 1. (State Dept./Freddie Everett)

The United States is supporting the people of Yemen and working to end the country’s devastating conflict.

During a U.N. event March 1, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced nearly $191 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Yemen, bringing total U.S. aid to the country to more than $350 million since October 2020.

“The humanitarian crisis taking place in Yemen is the largest and most urgent in the world,” Blinken told the virtual High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. “The scale of this emergency can be addressed only through a sustained and coordinated effort by a broad range of donors, U.N. agencies” and international partners.

With this new assistance, the United States has provided more than $3.4 billion in aid to Yemen since the conflict began six years ago. The aid supports international efforts to provide food, shelter and other assistance to Yemen’s most vulnerable communities. U.S. assistance in Yemen reaches 8.5 million people every month.

President Biden has made ending the war in Yemen that has displaced 4 million people a top priority. On March 2, the United States sanctioned two senior Ansarallah officials in response to the Houthis’ assault on Marib and attacks in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Naval Forces Chief of Staff Mansur Al-Sa’adi and Ahmad Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi, commander of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces, have procured weapons from Iran and overseen attacks that threaten civilians and maritime infrastructure.

“Iran’s involvement in Yemen fans the flames of the conflict, threatening greater escalation, miscalculation, and regional instability,” Blinken said in a March 2 statement announcing the sanctions. “The United States has made clear our commitment to promoting accountability for Ansarallah’s malign and aggressive actions.”

Armed men in civilian clothes and men in blue uniforms carrying a coffin (© Hani Mohammed/AP Images)
Houthis carry the coffin of a fighter killed in combat against Yemen’s internationally recognized government in Sana’a, Yemen, March 2. (© Hani Mohammed/AP Images)

Blinken also stated at the pledging event that the United States supports a U.N.-led process that is seeking to bring a ceasefire to Yemen, open humanitarian access and begin peace talks.

“We are hopeful for the speedy resumption of peace talks aimed at finally bringing an end to this conflict,” Blinken said. “The time is now to make this push and bring about a more stable, prosperous Yemen whose citizens will be able to rebuild their lives and — at long last — have hope in a better future.”