WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Thursday related to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen:
“I am relieved that the White House is finally engaged on the crisis in Yemen. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been tragically, needlessly exacerbated in recent weeks by the closure of ports of entry into Yemen and blockades of both humanitarian aid and commercial imports. I agree with President Trump’s statement yesterday that the Government of Saudi Arabia must take immediate steps to allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach Yemeni civilians.
“The blockade has left millions of people without fuel, reliable access to medicine, and exacerbated a food crisis that has lefts millions of innocent men, women and children at risk of famine. While the Saudi-led Coalition’s efforts to partially open ports of entry are an important step, there is much more that can be done. Ships carrying fuel must be granted clearance to access all ports so that food can be prepared and transported, and generators can operate to provide health, water, and sewage treatment systems. Aid workers must be provided quickly with visas and unhindered access must be guaranteed to all civilian areas. Blocking access of journalists to Yemen must also end immediately.
“The escalation in fighting and air strikes, particularly in Sanaa, is forcing humanitarian organizations to reduce their staff presence, blocking access to humanitarian warehouses, and preventing emergency relief from reaching civilians in desperate need. I call on all parties to this to conflict to take immediate steps to facilitate the movement of humanitarian relief and commercial goods.”