COVID-19 poses an imminent danger to Yemen’s population already suffering from a shattered health care system. Since the Saudi-led coalition launched its military intervention in Yemen in March 2015, the situation has continuously deteriorated and civilians bear the brunt of the violence. After years of war, Yemen’s health care system remains in a precarious position. War and deliberate attacks on clinics and hospitals have left only 50% of health centres functioning, and the few facilities remaining open experience serious shortages of equipment, medicines and staff. Yemen is unable to cope with outbreaks and the COVID-19 pandemic is only straining the health care system further.
The recent call by the United Nations (UN) for a ceasefire is a critical step in bringing peace to Yemen and allowing humanitarian organizations like Oxfam to respond to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Canada endorsed the UN global ceasefire and provides lifesaving humanitarian assistance to Yemen – but it is doing so while simultaneously arming one of the parties to the conflict: Saudi Arabia. Only an immediate end to the violence by all parties to the conflict will bring peace. Let’s unite our voices. Write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Garneau, today and tell the Canadian government to end the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Email the Minister of Foreign Affairs today.