The YPP team is very pleased to finally announce the launch of our new program: the Empower Yemen initiative. We are incredibly proud of the work we’ve done on Capitol Hill to end US involvement in the war in Yemen, and this week we are particularly gratified to see the historic passage of S.J.Res.7, a piece of legislation YPP worked on for roughly two years. Under the indefatigable leadership of our past advocacy directors, Kate Kizer (2017) and Eric Eikenberry (2018), the YPP played a crucial role in the formation of the advocacy coalition that pushed S.J.Res.7 through the Senate and House. That coalition continues to grow, as does the roster of senators and representatives who understand the urgency of the crisis in Yemen and the need for a radical change in US policy.
Because of those achievements, and because there are capable leaders like Kate and Eric (and many others) continuing the struggle in Congress, we decided last year that YPP would pivot to a new phase of the advocacy effort. Specifically, we decided that our primary goal should be ensuring that the advocacy happening in Washington reflects the perspectives of those who have to live with the consequences of US policy. You’ve probably already noticed that YPP has been much quieter in 2019 than in years past; empowering Yemenis means working in the background to push Yemeni advocates and experts to the forefront. Taking advantage of our networks in Yemen and our partners in Washington, the Empower Yemen initiative aims to bring Yemeni activists and civil society leaders into the US policy-making process, bringing us closer to an American foreign policy based on human rights, the rule of law, and the interests and needs of the Yemeni people.
There are a lot of wonderful organizations and dedicated, passionate individuals working on Yemen-related issues in the US today--many more than when this horrible war began. But the conversation about US policies toward Yemen still includes far too few Yemeni voices. The Empower Yemen initiative is going to change that. Through this initiative, we are asking Yemeni activists and civil society leaders for their perspectives on political, economic, and humanitarian issues that are relevant to the debate on US policies toward Yemen. Our team in Washington will share the feedback we receive with all of the US-based advocacy organizations and key congressional offices working on Yemen. Our goal is to ensure that policymakers are well-informed with information from the ground, and that the advocacy agenda centers the concerns of the Yemeni people, in all their diversity and complexity.
Supporters like you have made possible everything we’ve achieved so far, and we’re confident that you’ll make this new initiative a success as well. To learn more about our new program, and to donate to Empower Yemen, click here.