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An end to U.S. participation in the war in Yemen: “A critical step to saving children’s lives”

Fairfield, Conn. (February 4, 2021) – Save the Children applauds the Biden Administration’s announcement that it will take concrete steps to end U.S. participation in Yemen’s conflict, which has dragged on for nearly six years, precipitating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and claiming the lives of countless civilians. Thousands of children have been killed or injured through targeting of civilians by all parties to the conflict, and American-made weapons have contributed to the violence.

“Yemen’s children have suffered untold horrors over the last six years—their schools and hospitals have been attacked, their parents have been killed, and they’ve had to watch their siblings starve to death. Today’s announcement by President Biden is a critical step to saving children’s lives in Yemen and giving them the future they deserve,” said Janti Soeripto, President and CEO of Save the Children in the U.S. 

“President Biden’s commitment to ending certain arms sales to the parties to the conflict, paired with the announcement of a new U.S. Special Envoy to Yemen, are welcome steps that rightfully place the humanitarian needs of children and the peace process at the center of U.S. policy in Yemen,” Soeripto continued. 

We also welcome the President’s emphasis on the urgent need for a cease fire and increased access for lifesaving humanitarian access across the country. Save the Children urges President Biden and Secretary Blinken to help improve humanitarian access by immediately reversing the recent terrorism designations in Yemen and reinstating all suspended U.S. humanitarian assistance to the country, in order to ensure lifesaving aid can reach the most vulnerable. 

Denisa Delic, Head of UK Influencing, added: "This announcement offers a new hope for halting the crisis in Yemen. As UN Security Council President and penholder, the UK must seize this opportunity with both hands and demonstrate that the international community prioritises peace in Yemen. The UK should end its support for the Coalition, urgently push for a new ceasefire at the Security Council, and redouble efforts to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table. Children's lives depend on it."