The United Nations has warned that Yemen is on the brink of famine. The primary cause of the impending famine is Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. This war is supported by the United States - not only with U.S. weapons, but with direct U.S. military participation, including refueling of Saudi warplanes that are bombing Yemen. In particular, the U.S. is perceived to support the Saudi blockade of the Yemeni port of Hodeida, which has been the primary entry point for food, medicine, and humanitarian aid to northern Yemen. Stephen O'Brien, the UN's humanitarian aid coordinator and 53 Members of the House of Representatives have called for the port of Hodeida to be re-opened to humanitarian aid.
Urge NPR to fully report the UN's famine warning for Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.
While President Trump has lunch with Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman, children in Yemen are starving to death. Stephen O'Brien, the United Nations top aid official, has demanded that Yemen's Hodeida port, currently blockaded and attacked by Saudi Arabia, be opened to food imports to avert famine. 53 Members of the House have urged Secretary of State Tillerson to "use all U.S. diplomatic tools to help open the Yemeni port of Hodeida to international aid humanitarian aid organizations to allow them to import food, fuel, and medicine into northern Yemen and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children who face starvation."
The Trump Administration wants to sell Saudi Arabia weapons that were put on hold by President Obama. Senator Rand Paul [R-KY] and Senator Chris Murphy [D-CT] oppose the sale. "I don't know why we would give them precision-guided munitions that allow them to target civilians more efficiently,” Senator Murphy said.
Urge your Representative and Senators to oppose the Saudi arms deal by signing our petition at MoveOn.
On Friday, March 10, Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations’ under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, addressed the United Nations Security Council about what must happen to avert the threat of famine in Yemen. He said: "only a combined response with the private sector can stem a famine: commercial imports must be allowed to resume through all entry points in Yemen, including and especially Hudaydah port, which must be kept open and expanded." Sacha Llorenti, Bolivia's Ambassador to the UN said: "Restrictions have to be lifted at the port of Hodeidah to allow access to humanitarian aid."
On Thursday, March 9, 53 House Democrats wrote to Secretary of State Tillerson, urging him to "use all U.S. diplomatic tools to help open the Yemeni port of Hodeida to international aid humanitarian aid organizations to allow them to import food, fuel, and medicine into northern Yemen and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children who face starvation."
The UN and the Red Cross say Yemen is on the brink of famine, with hundreds of thousands of children at risk of starvation if Yemen's Hodeida port is not quickly opened to international humanitarian aid.
Rep. Ted Lieu and Rep. John Conyers are circulating a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson, urging him to use all U.S. diplomatic tools to help open Hodeida port to international humanitarian aid to avert famine.
Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
"Please sign the Lieu-Conyers letter to help avert famine in Yemen. Help open Hodeida port to international humanitarian aid."
When you've made your call, please report it below.
And if you haven't yet signed our petition urging House Members to sign the Lieu-Conyers letter, you can do that here.
"Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children languishing in refugee camps and remote villages are nearing starvation," the Washington Post reports. Airstrikes near the port of Hodeida - main entry point for food, medicine and humanitarian aid into northern Yemen - have slowed the delivery of supplies. Half a million children are severely acutely malnourished. The UN says Yemen is “on the brink of famine.”
U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes have destroyed roads and bridges across Hodeida province. Unexploded rockets have landed inside the port, further reducing imports and the number of ships willing to come to Yemen. The Saudis are enforcing a blockade that is restricting food imports, and have told humanitarian agencies to redirect shipments to Aden. That would mean vital food and medicine would need to be trucked from Aden through war zones to reach the millions at risk of starvation in the north.
To save hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children from starvation, someone must stop the U.S.-backed Saudi attacks on Hodeida. Sadly, so far Washington has turned a deaf ear to the cries of Yemeni children. But any member of the UN Security Council can demand a meeting to discuss action to save Yemeni children from starvation. Of the fifteen current members of the Security Council, Bolivia and Russia are the most independent of the U.S.-Saudi alliance that is pushing Yemen into famine. A vigorous Security Council debate would put pressure on the U.S. to stop supporting the Saudi assault on Hodeida.
United Nations and other international aid officials have been warning that Yemen is on the brink of famine. "Donald Trump’s Shift On Yemen Risks Plunging The Country Into Famine," the Huffington Post reports, warning that the Trump Administration may be giving Saudi Arabia a green light to attack and close the critical port of Hodeidah, blocking Yemen's food imports. "Yemen war causing world's worst food crisis," Vatican Radio reports. "'Time running out': 1.4 million children could die from famine in Africa & Yemen, says UNICEF," RT reports.
But a search of recent stories on the New York Times' website only turns up wire stories, not a regular New York Times article. 
Press NYT editors for prominent coverage of the UN's famine warning for Yemen by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.
President Trump's ramped-up support of Saudi Arabia's war may cause a famine in Yemen, the Huffington Post reports. Aid workers fear Saudi Arabia is planning to attack and close the critical port of Hodeidah on Yemen’s west coast, where most of the country's food has come in. The Obama Administration had opposed such an attack, but the Trump Administration may be encouraging it. Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has been dependent on the U.S. for military support and diplomatic cover. “If there were a serious disruption to that port, that would, I think, be sufficient to tip the country into famine,” said a former U.S. aid official.
Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, notes that Saudi Arabia's diversion of aid ships from Hodeidah is already raising the risk of mass starvation. Using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war is a grave violation of international law.
Press President Trump and Congress to stop Saudi Arabia from causing a famine in Yemen by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.
President Trump has already "increased logistical support" for the Saudi bombing of Houthis in Yemen. Trump Administration officials are threatening to conduct drone strikes against the Houthis. But Congress never authorized this war. Under the War Powers Resolution, a single Member of Congress could force a debate and vote on what Trump is doing. Unfortunately, we haven't got a single Member of Congress to agree to do this yet.
That’s why I'm going to visit the offices of Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth in Chicago today (February 7th, 2017). I'm going to deliver the Illinois signatures on this petition, urging Durbin and Duckworth to stand up on Saudi-Yemen war powers before Trump can further escalate the war.
Here's how you can help:
1. Call Durbin's Chicago office at 312-353-4952 and/or Duckworth's Chicago office at (312) 886-3506. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say:
"I urge Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth to invoke the War Powers Resolution to force Congressional debate on Trump's escalation of the Saudi war in Yemen."
When you've made your call(s), please report that below.
2. Sign and share our petition if you haven't already. If you already signed and shared, please share it again.
President Trump has threatened to escalate U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen by conducting drone strikes on Shia Houthi rebels. U.S. military action against Shia Houthi rebels has never been authorized by Congress. That means that under the War Powers Resolution, a single Member of Congress can introduce a privileged resolution to force a debate and vote on U.S. participation in the war before Trump carries out his threat.
LA Rep. Ted Lieu would be the natural person to do this: he's been a leader in Congress on criticizing U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen. But, many Members of Congress see invoking the War Powers Resolution as a dramatic step. We need to show Rep. Lieu that people in Los Angeles want him to do this, that if Rep. Lieu takes this step, people in Los Angeles will have his back.
Today Rep. Lieu is hosting a phone-in "town hall." This gives us an opportunity to engage Rep. Lieu directly.
Just before 6pm Pacific Time, call: 877-353-4701 [toll free.] If you get to ask a question, you can say something like:
"I'm concerned by Trump's threat to escalate the Saudi war in Yemen by conducting drone strikes against the Houthis. This has never been authorized by Congress. I urge you to invoke the War Powers Resolution to challenge U.S. participation in the Saudi war before Trump can carry out his threat."
If you're able to call in, please report your call below, even if you don't get to ask a question. We'll report to Rep. Lieu's office how many people called in to ask for the invocation of Congressional war powers against Trump's threat to escalate in Yemen.
As Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has noted, U.S. participation in the Saudi bombing of Yemen has never been authorized by Congress.
Urge your reps. to use their war powers to force a vote on removing U.S. forces from the Saudi bombing of Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Saudi Arabia's conduct is now coming under unprecedented scrutiny. New evidence has recently emerged that the U.S. intelligence community believes that the government of Saudi Arabia has been supporting ISIS. But Congress has never voted on whether the U.S. should be refueling Saudi planes that are bombing Yemen, even though U.S. officials have warned that the U.S. could be implicated in war crimes for supporting the Saudi bombing of Yemen.
Under section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, "at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution."
Urge your reps. to use their war powers to force a vote on removing U.S. forces from the Saudi bombing of Yemen by signing and sharing our petition.