April 17-24: "Famine-like" conditions evident, aid organizations call for more funds to prevent catastrophe

Monday, April 17, 2017

According to the Emirates News Agency, the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) will provide 53 Yemenis affected by the war with medical treatment at hospitals in India.

Gulf News reports that Yemeni government forces have gained control of a military base north of al-Mokha. Houthi-Saleh forces had used the base to launch missile attacks against coalition forces along the coast.

An article from AP focuses on the work of Fadia Najib Thabet, a student in Vermont who recently received the Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award for her work as a child protection officer in southern Yemen.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Los Angeles Times reports that 12 Saudi officers were killed when a helicopter crashed in Marib province today. Reuters clarifies that according to the Yemeni defense ministry’s website, the crash was due to friendly fire.

Al-Arabiya states that 4.5 million Yemeni children may not be able to finish school due to the conflict. A UNICEF representative stated that approximately 73% of teachers in Yemen have gone without salaries since October of 2016, limiting their ability to travel to work or provide for their own basic needs.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called today for a UN-brokered political solution to the Yemen conflict, says Reuters. However, the US is still considering increasing military involvement in Yemen and providing more direct aid to the Saudi-led coalition.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Four suspected al-Qaeda militants were killed by a US drone strike today in Marib province, says Reuters. AP reports that Yemeni security officials stated that five more suspected members of al-Qaeda were killed in Shabwah province in a similar drone strike.

Reuters also reports that US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis criticized Iran for its “destabilizing efforts” in the Middle East, including Yemen.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

As the United States considers resuming the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, US lawmakers are seeking a greater commitment to preventing civilian casualties from the gulf country. Meanwhile, the BBC notes that two human rights groups have called for Saudi Arabia to be put back on a list of violators of children’s rights for its actions in Yemen. Save the Children and Watchlist have both cited Saudi attacks on hospitals and doctors, as well as obstruction of humanitarian aid by both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi movement, as actions that profoundly affect Yemeni children. The United Nations originally placed Saudi Arabia on its 2016 list of children’s rights violators, but removed it only a week later.

Gulf News reports that the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) opened a new school in Shabwah Governorate on Monday.

Middle East Eye focuses on the destruction of mosques during the course of the civil war. Many mosques have been forced to close, used as barracks for fighters or caught in the crossfire if they are located in a conflict zone. In Ta’iz province alone, 52 mosques have been forced to close since the start of the conflict.

AP, meanwhile, reports that several human rights groups have condemned the use of landmines by Houthi forces, stating that hundreds of civilians have been killed and maimed.

The UN World Food Programme stated today that famine-like conditions can be found in some parts of Yemen, although famine has not been officially declared.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, following the announcement of a review of US policy toward Iran, has accused Tehran of “alarming ongoing provocations” in the Middle East.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The UNDP published a piece today highlighting the threat of famine in several countries including Yemen. The story focuses on the threat of food insecurity in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. UNDP notes that 17 million people in Yemen are now food-insecure and focuses on their plan to respond to the crisis.

The Baha’i World News Service said today that authorities in Houthi-controlled San’a have ordered the arrest of at least 25 Baha’is during the last week. The religious group has faced discrimination in Yemen since their population began increasing in the country around 2008.

Reuters reports that in the ongoing legal battle over the Trump administration’s travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries, 14 Republican states have joined Texas in supporting the ban.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Yemeni Embassy in Washington, D.C. released a report focusing on recent events in Yemen and calling for greater support from Congress on Yemeni issues.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Al-Arabiya reports that the governorate of Hadhramawt today celebrated one year since AQAP was ousted from the area.

A report from Just Security focuses on the relationship between the US-backed Hadi government and AQAP. The report discusses the complex political landscape in Yemen, in which the enemy that pro-Hadi forces, ISIS, and AQAP all share in the Houthi-Saleh alliance sometimes leads the former parties to cooperate with one another.  

Foreign Policy discusses the implications for foreign aid of President Trump’s budget plans. The proposed plans would drastically cut foreign aid to developing countries such as Yemen and would merge USAID with the State Department. Thirty to 35 USAID field missions may have to be eliminated due to the proposed budget cuts.

Reuters states that local residents in Shabwah province have reported that a US drone strike killed three civilians today in addition to the AQAP militants it was targeting.

Oxfam and MSF have called for greater support from donor nations to help prevent famine and disease from breaking out in Yemen. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien has also called on Gulf states to donate to humanitarian efforts in Yemen, on the day before a large conference held by the UN to raise funds for its operations in the country.