RELEASE: Khanna, Dingell, Pocan Lead 76 Members of Congress in Calling on Biden-Harris Administration to Press For End of Yemeni Blockade
Washington, DC – Today, Res. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Mark Pocan (WI-02) led 76 of their colleagues in calling for the Biden Administration to publicly increase pressure on Saudi Arabia to lift the blockade on Yemen immediately, unilaterally, and comprehensively.
The blockade has been a leading driver of Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe since 2015 and has contributed to shortages of fuel, affordable food, clean water, electricity and transportation. The World Food Programme projects 400,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 could die from acute malnutrition this year as the Saudi-led war and blockade continues.
“We ask you to take additional steps to publicly pressure Saudi Arabia to lift this blockade immediately, unilaterally, and comprehensively,” the lawmakers wrote. “This must include guaranteeing that humanitarian and commercial imports can freely enter Yemen; entrusting security oversight to the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM); fully permitting flights in and out of Sana’a airport; and ensuring that and crossings for commercial and civilian traffic are permanently opened.”
The lawmakers continued, “Every day that we wait for these issues to be resolved in negotiations is another day that pushes more children to the brink of death…We strongly support a comprehensive political settlement that addresses all aspects of the conflict, including a nationwide ceasefire, currency stabilization, and payment of government salaries. At the same time, a U.S demand to end the blockade must occur independently of negotiations, particularly given that recent Saudi bombings of Sana’a and the Houthis’ offensive on Marib have cast the fate of those talks into doubt.”
The letter has been endorsed by the following organizations: Friends Committee on National Legislation, Just Foreign Policy, Demand Progress, Win Without War, Peace Action, Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, Freedom Forward, Democracy for the Arab World Now, Yemeni Alliance Committee, Action Corps.
For a PDF version of the letter, please click here.
# # #
About the Office
Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.