Building Peace in the Conflict: AfP Statement on Yemen
Three years after the official start of the conflict in Yemen, civilians continue to face unimaginable suffering. About 75% of the population need humanitarian assistance, half of those require help urgently to survive, and 2 million people are displaced. While external governments have been slow to act on stemming the violence, Alliance for Peacebuilding member NGOs continue to work with the Yemeni people to protect basic humanitarian needs, and also promote good governance and peacebuilding.
United Nations Secretary-General Guterres issued a statement on the 3-year anniversary expressing that “a negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only way to end the conflict and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.”
An inclusive political settlement will likely be necessary, but will also take time and international support. Our members are working to protect and rebuild the social fabric of Yemen amid the violence today. Search for Common Ground’s Yemen country director wrote, “If we wait to build relationships across dividing lines until negotiations are successful, we may have a Yemen peace agreement with no Yemen.”
AfP members are working to build relationships now. Search is building the capacity of local mediators and conflict resolution committees across Yemen. They are also mobilizing youth to be positive agents of change and increase their resilience to violence, and conducting research on the drivers of conflict in Yemen. PartnersGlobal runs programs in Yemen on transitional justice, resilience in rural areas, and training for civil society leaders. Mercy Corps is a leader in emergency response and providing economic opportunities in Yemen. These and other NGOs face extraordinary challenges in delivering even the most basic services. AfP is awed by their work.
These groups are also active in advocating to the US and other governments to find solutions to this forgotten conflict. The Alliance for Peacebuilding urges the US and other governments to invest in these peacebuilding programs, call on parties to the conflict to uphold international humanitarian law, and support peace negotiations that include all warring Yemeni parties and their international supporters. More civilians are at risk of famine and disease every day this man-made conflict endures. One more anniversary is not acceptable.