US lawmakers urged Antony Blinken in their latest bipartisan letter to amp up the effort to raise more funding for the people of Yemen, now that the war is nearing its end. Meanwhile, Tim Linderking is due to meet with Saudis on Thursday to discuss the recent developments.
A group of U.S. Senators from both sides of the aisle has called on Biden’s State Department to help raise more than $2.5 billion for the people of Yemen whose suffering has grown worse since the battle between Saudi-backed government and the Houthi movement grew worse. In an open letter sent to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Senators urged the secretary to promote the Yemenis cause in order to elicit more funding for the war-stricken country. “50,000 people in Yemen are living in famine-like conditions. The international community has failed to rise up to the challenge” the letter reads. It goes down to continue “More than 20 million Yemenis depend on humanitarian assistance to survive and we cannot let them down”.
Back in 2019, right when the state of war effort was beginning to change, the UN pleaded with its members to help raise $4.2 billion for the humanitarian efforts and though a great amount was contributed, it still wasn’t enough to hit the goal. A year later, the UN set its expectations lower, bringing the goal down to $3.4 billion but for some reason, the contribution was much less than what was originally estimated, with only half of the desired amount contributed to the institution. Dissatisfied with the end results, the UN once again raised the bar higher to $3.8 billion this year but to everybody’s astonishment only a little more than a third of the campaign’s goal was reached within that particular timespan. Now that everything has fallen on deaf ears, individuals have taken it upon themselves to promote the agenda.
The effort to raise awareness and the funds for the people of Yemen was largely spearheaded by Switzerland and Sweden so far but since there haven’t been that much of an effort to address the situation in Yemen, the way it should have been addressed, both the countries have called for another fundraising conference, expecting major donors to rally behind their cause. Though US President Joe Biden has taken a different approach compared to its predecessor with regards to the situation in Yemen, nothing worthy of notice has been improved as of late. US Special Envoy Tim Lenderking is due to travel to Saudi Arabia and Oman on Thursday to meet with the government officials. Lenderking himself stated that the discussions with Saudi government will mostly focus on “delivery of commodities and humanitarian assistance to Yemen” but given the recent victories scored by the Houthi movement it is also possible that Lenderking would be discussing the prospect of peace with Saudis.
Biden withdrew US support for Saudi-led coalition against Yemen within months after his inauguration. In addition to that, Trump’s administration arms sales to Saudi Arabia were put on hold for the time being. Though Americans themselves like to praise Biden’s character for such decisions, it was more of an strategic scuttle owing to the fact that Saudi Arabia’s war crimes against the Yemenis had come under extensive scrutiny and the continuation of US involvement would have only damaged the country’s reputation just as it did with the war perpetrators. Furthermore, UAE’s ambitions often conflicted with that of Saudis, undermining the whole coalition. To promote a bening image of himself however, Biden delisted the Houthi movement as the terrorist organisation, courtesy of Donald Trump’s administration. Undoing Trump’s decision, allowed the Americans to have greater connectivity and interactions with the Houthi movement which is bound to be legitimately recognized sooner or later. At any rate, it has become clear that the war in Yemen is closing to its end and cordial efforts on part of the regional or international players would buy them more favours among the Houthis, one which seems to be on top of the American lawmakers agenda.