Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution introduced by Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) calling for an urgent and comprehensive diplomatic effort to address political obstacles in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen that are preventing humanitarian aid from being delivered to tens of millions of people who desperately need it.
The resolution calls on all parties to the conflicts to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need. The resolution also expresses support for efforts to hold accountable those responsible for deliberate restrictions on humanitarian access.
Young and Cardin have focused on the issue for months. On March 23, Senators Young and Cardin delivered a letter to Secretary Tillerson regarding the humanitarian crises in these regions.
On July 18, Senator Young chaired a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing entitled, “‘The Four Famines’: Root Causes and a Multilateral Action Plan”.
In August, following those efforts, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a presidential statement on the humanitarian crises in these four countries. The statement called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and permit unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to all areas.
Senators cosponsoring the Young-Cardin resolution included Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).