U.S. Humanitarian Assistance and the Situation in Yemen

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–June 24, 2010.  President Obama has decided to increase U.S. humanitarian assistance to Yemen by $29.6 million, to $42.5 million this fiscal year.  This assistance will provide food, water and sanitation, shelter, and health care to over 280,000 individuals displaced by the conflict in northern Yemen, as well as refugees in southern Yemen.

The United States urges other donors to support international agencies working to meet these urgent humanitarian needs, as the United Nation’s Humanitarian Response Plan remains woefully underfunded.  We also call on all parties to ensure the safety and rights of civilians and aid workers, and the safe and unfettered passage of relief supplies to those in need.

We are deeply troubled by reports of fresh outbreaks of fighting in Sa’ada, and urge full compliance with the ceasefire agreement announced in February, and an end to the violence.

The United States calls for a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue between all opposition groups and the ruling party.  Such a dialogue needs to be undertaken in good faith and with haste by all parties to address legitimate grievances and increase stability in Yemen.

A unified, stable, democratic, and prosperous Yemen will require implementation of political and economic reforms in order to enhance the confidence of the Yemeni people in their government.  We continue to cooperate with international partners, including through the Friends of Yemen process, to ensure that the Yemeni people enjoy the benefits of political, economic and social reforms and achieve their long-term development goals.