A letter on Yemen to every editor

It is deplorable that everybody has failed to extend what was a temporary ceasefire in Yemen. The conflict and the de facto blockade of the country has crippled its economy and put the lives of 26 million people at risk. Fuel supplies are exhausted, markets are running out of food, hospitals are without even basic medical supplies, power is intermittent and water networks are collapsing.

Despite the broken ceasefire, which officially ended on Sunday, no progress has been made towards peace and fighting of a renewed intensity has begun again. Little is being done to stop the conflict. Nearly 2,000 Yemenis have been killed, over 7,000 injured – and this is likely to be well under estimated.

We welcome the proposed Geneva peace talks possibly slated for the end of May, but without an immediate and permanent ceasefire Yemen will buckle under the pressure of war.

Oxfam implores international governments to take action now before the Geneva peace talks. The Saudi Arabian led coalition should let vessels carrying essential supplies dock at Yemen’s ports; there should be a complete arms embargo to everyone involved in the conflict; and funding to help Yemenis access clean water, food and basic medical treatment must be increased.

A humanitarian catastrophe has unfolded. Without concerted international pressure, Yemen could become another of the world’s failed states.

- Grace Ommer, Oxfam Yemen Country Director, 21 May 2015

Photo at top: Cars line up for gas at a petrol station amid fuel shortages in Sanaa, Yemen. Credt: Abo Haitham/Oxfam,  April 8, 2015

What you can do now

Demand an end to the violence in Yemen

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