News Release

Saudi Starvation Blockade of Yemen — Why is Biden Admin Denying it’s Happening? 


Friends Committee on National Legislation, Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, Demand Progress, and Just Foreign Policy have teamed up with actor and humanitarian Mark Ruffalo and the creators of the 2021 Oscar-nominated film “HUNGER WARD,” to urge President Biden to convince Saudi Arabia to immediately lift its “inhumane blockade of Yemen.” Their letter to the administration is excerpted below.

Meanwhile, a group of activists are continuing their hunger strike to stop U.S. backing of Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Saleh and Isacc are with the Yemeni Liberation Movement. Members of the group began a hunger strike on Monday, March 29 to protest U.S. government support for the Saudi-led blockade on Yemen.

El-Tayyab is the FCNL’s legislative manager for Middle East policy. He said today: “The U.S.-backed Saudi blockade on Yemen is a key driver of the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe.”
See the letter the coalition of groups just sent to the Biden administration and news release. The letter states: “We are deeply concerned that prior to the CNN report, no U.S. official in the new administration had explicitly publicly acknowledged the six-year-old, Saudi-imposed blockade — much less criticized it. U.S. special envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, declined to adequately respond to [CNN reporter Nima] Elbagir’s on-the-ground reporting and direct questions, referring to Yemen’s hunger crisis simply as ‘complex,’ while denying evidence of the blockade shown in CNN’s report, and, per Elbagir’s account, falsely claiming that ‘food continues to flow through Hodeidah unimpeded.’
“Elbagir concluded: ‘How is [peace] possible when you are not acknowledging the full impact of that U.S.-backed Saudi embargo on the people of Yemen?’ According to the UN, 400,000 children under the age of five could perish from hunger this year without urgent action. For years, the Saudi blockade has been a leading driver of Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe. The recent fuel shortages triggered by the blockade are quickly accelerating major reductions in access to affordable food, clean water, electricity, and basic movement across Yemen. The blockade also threatens to shut down, within weeks, the hospitals reliant on power generators to tend to victims of famine, while making even emergency travel to hospitals prohibitively expensive for Yemeni families, condemning untold numbers of children to certain death at home.”