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MADRE Applauds Win for Peace: President Biden Announces End to US Support for the War in Yemen


Diana Duarte,


February 4, 2021 — Today, in his first major foreign policy address, President Joe Biden announced the end to US support for offensive operations in Yemen. This is a major win for progressive organizers and Yemeni grassroots activists, who have been calling for an end to US support for this war for years. The US has perpetuated attacks on Yemen by contributing military support and billions of dollars in arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition. This has worsened the humanitarian crisis, with the country pushed to the brink of famine and with more than 4.3 million people displaced.

President Biden also spoke about the need to restore humanitarian aid to Yemen and for a more active US role in diplomacy to end the conflict, including by appointing a US special envoy to Yemen to facilitate the peace process. MADRE asserts that the US must halt all arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition, that future military action is not justified as “defensive,” and that the US acts to repair the harms caused by its participation in this war.

“This is a significant step towards peace for the Yemeni people, who have suffered airstrikes by the Saudi coalition, attacks by Houthi rebels, and a severe humanitarian disaster. We applaud President Biden’s decision to listen to grassroots Yemeni groups and move to end US complicity in this war,” said Muna Luqman, Founder of Food4Humanity and MADRE partner in Yemen. “As a next step, we need the US to commit to an inclusive peace process rooted in accountability and with women, youth, and civil society at the center. Women were the first to call for a ceasefire in Yemen, and we have concrete proposals for peace.”

"The US's leading role in exacerbating the war in Yemen reveals the dangers of our militarized foreign policy that has, for far too long, prioritized wars, weapons and profit over peace and human rights,” said MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind. “President Biden’s decision to roll back US support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen is a key step towards a foreign policy grounded in cooperation, diplomacy, and accountability. Now, to help bring about a lasting peace in Yemen, the US must halt all actions that threaten lives — including its support for the blockade of ports. And Biden must listen to grassroots Yemeni groups who have mobilized for years to save lives and defend their communities.”

In partnership with MADRE, Food4Humanity has provided vital humanitarian aid and long-term support to besieged communities in Yemen. Together, the organizations have sustained community livelihoods, opened a girls' school, and mobilized an urgent response to COVID-19, including by distributing hygiene kits and training community paramedics. MADRE and Food4Humanity have advocated for an end to the war and for women's leadership in the peace process through delegations to the US Congress.

To learn more, read MADRE’s latest policy brief, A Feminist Foreign Policy for Yemen: Women’s Leadership towards Inclusive Peace, here.


February 4, 2021