Yemen

Joint Statement by the Coalition of Yemeni Civil Society Organizations to the United Nations General Assembly, September 2020 [EN/AR]

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Yemenis continue to experience the devastating impacts of a conflict that has been raging since 2015.
Fighting has destroyed the country’s basic infrastructure, disrupted livelihoods, driven the economy to the edge of collapse and placed millions of Yemenis in extreme vulnerability. Over two thirds of the population depend on humanitarian assistance and nearly 4 million have been forcibly displaced since March 2015. Only half the country’s health facilities are functional while over 20 million people lack proper sanitation services, and nearly 18 million lack access to medical care. This has exposed millions to cholera, dengue and diphtheria – preventable diseases which have claimed thousands of lives over recent years. And Yemenis are now facing the threat of the novel corona virus that has overwhelmed countries across the globe.

In the last week of March 2020, the UN Secretary General called upon Yemen’s warring parties to implement a nationwide ceasefire, to immediately return to peace talks and join efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These efforts failed to pressure warring parties to put an end to hostilities, and the violence has increased in certain parts of the country while COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, largely undetected due to under-testing and a lack of reporting.

  • As the international community meets at the UN General Assembly, we – the undersigned national civil society organisations – encourage Member States meeting to discuss Yemen to consider the unthinkable impacts that ongoing fighting is having in Yemen, combined with the additional burden of the global pandemic. We call for:

The international community and donors to exert more pressure on conflicting parties and their backers to:

  • Immediately halt military operations across the country, and ensure that all efforts are focused towards fighting the spread of COVID-19 and returning to peace negotiations which include meaningful participation of women and civil society.

  • Ensure the inclusion of Civil Society Organizations in high-level events, so that the voices of Yemenis are heard and are central to finding a solution to the conflict.

  • Put an end to obstruction of or delays to the passage of critical supplies – including food, fuel and medicine – into the country’s ports and through entry points between governorates.

  • Avoid harming civilians and ensure their protection against all direct and indirect impacts of the conflict, in particular vulnerable groups such as women and children. This should include insisting upon the critical importance of moving all military camps and facilities outside of cities and populated neighbourhoods, given the potential risk these pose to the safety of civilians.

  • Ensure freedom of movement and unimpeded access for all humanitarian I/NGOs to deliver lifesaving aid and medical treatment to affected communities across Yemen.

  • Immediately reopen key airports including Sana’a International airport and make efforts to ensure that the other two operational airports (Aden and Seyun) remain unaffected by escalations in the conflict.

  • Immediately open main roads and access points between main Yemeni cities in order to ensure the security and safety of civilian movements on these routes, in addition to improving the performance of key sea and land ports and protecting them from threats.

  • Fulfil their commitments towards state employees through regular payment of salaries, for all public sector employees.

  • Ensure adequate funding for COVID-19 and other life-saving responses in Yemen.

  • Immediately provide emergency funds to bridge the critical funding gap of the Humanitarian Response, to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation and to ensure a strong response which includes an enhanced role for national civil society organizations.

  • In parallel to relief assistance, ensure an increased focus on projects related to early recovery and development based on the conditions of each governorate, in order to ensure the sustainability of humanitarian interventions.

Signatories:

  1. Ability for Human Investment

  2. Abnaa Sa'adah Development Association

  3. Abs Development Organization for Women & Child

  4. Afaq Shababia Foundation

  5. Al-Khaderah Foundation for Development

  6. All Girls Foundation - AGF

  7. Al-Takaful Foundation

  8. AWAM Foundation for Development & Culture

  9. Baader Foundation for Development

  10. Concern Organization for Woman and Children

  11. Environment and Development Organization

  12. For Human Development Foundation

  13. Future Development Feminist Foundation

  14. Gossor Foundation for Development Solutions

  15. Hemmat Shabab Foundation for Development

  16. Hudaydah Girls Foundation - HGF

  17. Improve Your Society Organization (IYSO)

  18. Insan Association for Development and Humanitarian Affairs

  19. Juban Developmental Association

  20. Life Makers Meeting Place Organization (LMMPO)

  21. Progress Organization for Development

  22. Ramz Development Foundation

  23. Sada Foundation for Building & Development (SFBD)

  24. Sam Organization for Rights & Development

  25. SOS Center for Youth Capabilities Development

  26. Soul for Development

  27. SRA Foundation for Sustainable Development

  28. Tamdeen Youth Foundation

  29. To Be Foundation for Rights & Freedoms

  30. University Youth Foundation for Development

  31. Yemeni Women Union