Yemen's Forgotten War
From our CEO, Alistair Harris OBE.
I have just returned from Amman following a meeting with our governmental, UN and other partners focused on the conflict in Yemen. Last week also saw renewed talks between the Republic of Yemen Government and the Ansar Allah movement in Stockholm, the main (but far from the only) protagonists in a conflict that has brought suffering to millions, with 80% of the civilian population in need of humanitarian assistance. Famine now stalks Yemen, with people resorting to eating the leaves from trees to feed themselves.
Yemen needs our attention and support. A cynic could argue that for many years the conflict did not command sustained international interest because of the focus on the increasingly geopolitical struggle in Syria. In addition, Yemeni refugees were not coming ashore on Greek or Italian islands and confronting bewildered tourists and local communities.
For those fortunate enough to have spent time in Yemen and share its people’s warmth, hospitality and culture, there can be no more pressing priority than a cessation of the fighting to enable humanitarian access. I will be chairing a meeting at social impact club The Conduit on January 9th with the CEO of Save the Children, the former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, to explore how non-governmental actors such as social entrepreneurs and philanthropists can contribute positively, from innovative use of renewable energies to power schools to mechanisms to boost livelihoods and employment opportunities.
We have been working in Yemen since 2010 and want to hear from people who have the capacity, capability or willingness to help, whether that be on the ground in Yemen or supporting from outside the country.