April 25-May 1: $1.2 billion raised by UN for humanitarian efforts, international community warns against Hudaydah offensive

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

UNICEF published a press release today urging the international community to donate to UN efforts to combat the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. The UN held a pledging drive today in Geneva to raise funding for humanitarian aid in the country. The drive raised a total of $1.1 billion, approximately half of the UN’s 2017 emergency response budget. The United States announced that it would provide an additional $94 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

The United Nations, joined now by Russia as well, continues to warn the Saudi-led coalition against attacking the Port of Hudaydah. Amnesty International also released an article emphasizing the risk to civilian lives that such an offensive would carry. The UNHCR says that it is preparing for the potential displacement of an additional half a million people if the fighting in Hudaydah intensifies.

Gulf News reports that 30 pro-Houthi fighters were killed in various parts of Yemen in recent days.

According to Andalou Agency, the Pentagon announced that over 80 airstrikes have been conducted in Yemen since March.

The Yemen Peace Project’s own Kate Kizer wrote a piece for the Forum on the Arms Trade on the Trump Administration’s approach to the Yemen conflict. The post emphasizes the many limitations and risks of such a strategy and urges the administration to consider a more political approach, and to rely more on soft power than on further military escalation.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia reportedly foiled an attempted attack on an oil distribution center near Yemen. The attack came from a remote-controlled boat filled with explosives.

Reuters reports that the Yemeni government has again proposed that the United Nations monitor the port of Hudaydah to prevent arms smuggling there.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Reuters notes the deepening relationship between the United States and its Gulf allies in the Yemeni civil war. The Trump administration is working increasingly closely with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in approaching the Yemen conflict, but human rights officials warn against too close a relationship with Saudi Arabia and complicity in their actions in Yemen.

Saudi Arabian officials also emphasized today that they are distributing humanitarian assistance to all areas of Yemen, including Houthi-held regions.

Friday, April 28, 2017

According to AP, a Pentagon spokesman said that a US airstrike killed eight al-Qaeda operatives on April 23 in Shabwah province.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Huffington Post discusses the potential attack on Hudaydah by the Saudi-led coalition. Although the coalition hopes to take control of Hudaydah and cut off Houthi access to the port, the Houthis have an advantage on the ground and a military operation on the port will cut off 70% of Yemen’s imports when 27 million Yemenis are already food insecure.

Middle East Eye discusses the cholera outbreak that Yemen has been fighting since October of 2016. Lack of sewage systems and clean drinking water are the greatest causes of the disease.

Al-Arabiya reports that the newspaper of the Yemeni armed forces has claimed that a number of organizations with links to the United Nations provided funding to the Houthi movement.

According to AP, four members of al-Qaeda were killed in what is suspected to have been a US airstrike in Marib province today.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Huffington Post discusses the relationship between AQAP and the Gulf Coalition, noting that AQAP has problematically become a de facto ally of the coalition in Yemen. Qasim al-Rimi, the leader of the Yemen branch of AQAP, recently said that AQAP forces have fought alongside factions loyal to the Yemeni government.

Meanwhile, as the Saudi-led coalition continues to consider a military operation at the Port of Hudaydah, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein warned that such an attack would have disastrous humanitarian consequences

Al-Arabiya reports that tensions between members of the Houthi movement and those loyal to former President Saleh have increased recently.

Gulf News notes that the UAE has provided food and medical aid to Shabwah province after donating $100 million in relief aid last week. However, $1.2 billion is still needed to address the humanitarian catastrophe in the country.