Yemen: ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ as first nationwide truce in six years continues
Under the truce, warring sides have accepted to halt all offensive military operations in Yemen and across its borders.
They have also agreed for fuel ships to enter into ports in the Hudaydah region, and for commercial flights to operate from the airport in the capital, Sana’a, to predetermined destinations in the region.
The parties have further agreed to meet under the auspices of the UN Special Envoy to open roads in Taiz and other governorates.
The first nationwide truce in six years coincided with the start of the holy month of Ramadan and includes provisions to improve the freedom of movement of civilians and goods, across the war-torn Arab nation.
Meanwhile, humanitarian assistance is needed today to keep millions alive.
“The worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen is a reality that we need to urgently address,” said David Gressly, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.
“The numbers this year are staggering. Over 23 million people – or almost three-quarters of Yemen’s population – now need assistance. That is an increase of almost three million people from 2021. Nearly 13 million people are already facing acute levels of need.”
A collapsing economy, another product of the seven-year war, has exacerbated vulnerabilities for the poorest, with a record 19 million people are projected to require food assistance in the second half of 2022.
There are an estimated 161,000 who face “the most extreme hunger”. “Children continue to suffer horribly”, with 2.2 million acutely malnourished, including more than half a million at severe levels. Limited access to critical services continues to worsen the conditions of the most vulnerable groups, including women and children.
At a high-level fund-raising event for Yemen held in March this year, donors pledged $1.3 billion – just 30 per cent of the total requirement for the 2022 HRP. The Untied States gave $585 million.
Another $300 million has been pledged since then, However, the response remains severely underfunded, leaving aid agencies with limited resources at a time when two-thirds of major UN programmes in Yemen were forced to scale back or close due to underfunding. “I urge all donors to fund the appeal fully and commit to disbursing funds quickly,” said Mr. Gressly.
The UN’s Humanitarian Country Team in Yemen in late April, released its Response Plan (HRP) for this year, seeking nearly $4.3 billion to reverse a steady deterioration across the country, the grinding war there continues, despite a current pause in fighting.
Hope for tomorrow
The fragile temporary agreement offers a “rare opportunity to pivot toward a peaceful future,” said Grundberg and recent progress is helping to “pave the way” for a brighter future. The coming weeks will be “a test of the parties’ commitments to uphold their obligations,” and build trust and confidence. Yemen will need the international community’s support as much as ever to find an inclusive, peaceful and sustainable end to the conflict.
CodePink encourage all parties to abided by the agreement and work toward a path that will end the suffering in Yemen and bring peace to the country.
UN News: Yemen: ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ as first nationwide truce in six years continues, April 14, 2022
UN News: UN humanitarians say $4.3 billion is needed to halt ‘worsening’ Yemen crisis, April 30,2022
UN News: Return of commercial flights from Yemeni capital after 6 years, an ‘important’ step, May 16, 202