Paris – The Francophone Association for Human Rights (AFDH) has been observing the continued disintegration of Yemen over the last few years and has been concerned by Europe’s role in fuelling the war which has forcibly displaced millions of people and annihilated the country’s infrastructure. AFDH’s concerns were posed to European Parliament on Thursday 18 June, 2020 which were officially submitted by Parliament members Fulvio Martusciello and Gianna Gancia.
“What will Europe’s role be in helping Yemen out of this public health crisis? Can Europe unite and formulate a common policy to help stop the conflict in Yemen by stopping member states of the European Union from selling arms to countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE which has undoubtedly fuelled the displacement of millions of people and wounded and killed thousands?
What started out as a localized civil strife to gain democracy and good rule for Yemen has been hijacked by outside forces and turned into a vicious intractable civil war, much like the case in Syria and Libya.
The situation in Yemen has been deemed the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 24 million people which is roughly 80% of the country’s population are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children. Médecins Sans Frontièrs (MSF) has now declared that Yemen’s healthcare system has completely collapsed due to five years of fighting and COVID-19 has now finalized this collapse. It is clear that action needs to be taken to save Yemeni lives, stabilize the region and help the rest of the world contain the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing Yemen to rebuild its health infrastructure to a level where it will be able to halt the spread of the pandemic.
Vital infrastructure such as hospitals and shelters as well as access to medical care and supplies are desperately needed in prolonged conflict but Yemen lacks any of these. Combine that with the rapid spread of COVID-19, it is no wonder why Yemen’s healthcare system has completely collapsed.
AFDH believes that Europe can no longer ignore Yemen and has a responsibility to help end the ongoing conflict and encourage peace by first ending the sale of weapons to warring parties. We hope that the EU member states will take their seat at the table during the UN-led peace talks by engaging in genuine progress towards peace that will help pave the way for a more stabilized Yemen and rebuild a generation that has essentially been wiped out.