WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following joint statement on Thursday, raising continued alarms on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen following a bipartisan briefing with World Food Program (WFP) Director David Beasley and reports that the WFP may be forced to suspend aid deliveries due to illegal diversion by Houthi forces:
“We are deeply disturbed by recent reports that the Houthis are diverting desperately needed food aid in Yemen. The Yemeni people already face a collapsed economy, a cholera epidemic, and extremely limited access to food and medicine. Over one million more people now risk starvation if the Houthis do not immediately resume cooperation with the WFP in addition to the over 85,000 children who have died from starvation,” said Murphy and Young. “Congress cannot turn its back on the humanitarian catastrophe and national security threat in Yemen. That includes condemning the Saudi-led coalition’s obstruction of aid and bombing of civilians, as well as the Houthis’ diversion of aid, torture of detainees, and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas.”
Young and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced the Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2019, comprehensive legislation to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the murder of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the Saudi-led coalition for its role in the devastating conflict in Yemen. The bill prohibits certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as in-flight refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft. Murphy is a cosponsor of the legislation.