The humanitarian situation in Yemen has tethered on borderline critical these past months as civil unrest and violence brought by the Al Houthi militias takes its toll on the civilian population. Even before Al Houthi rebels overthrew the legitimate government of Yemen more than three years ago, the food situation and water supplies across that nation were tenuous, with many prone to malnutrition and simply not having easy access to health services, clean water and adequate supplies.
The international coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and in which the UAE is proud to play a key role, is acting on United Nations Security Council resolutions to restore the government there and return the nation to normality. But that also entails making sure Yemen will have the infrastructure and facilities in place to adequately provide for all its people as well as benefiting from a peaceful and stable society.
Right now, the challenge is to ensure that all those affected by Al Houthi violence have access to immediate medical care, health facilities and, critically, enough food to ensure that their daily nutritional requirements are met.
That goal now, however, is certainly secured with the recent announcement that the UAE and Saudi Arabia had jointly pledged an immediate donation of $500 million (Dh1.83 billion) to Yemen’s food programme. This $500 million is a very large donation indeed, one that will ensure that the food programme will be adequately funded, meeting the needs of every Yemeni who is short of basic nutritional requirements. But it is also a very significant contribution towards ensuring stability and building for the future.
The reality is that when the violence is over and Al Houthis have either been defeated, which is inevitable, or are prepared to reach a negotiated peace without undue influence from their Iranian masters, Yemen is a nation that will need to have its infrastructure and social services overhauled from the ground up. This process will mean making sure every Yemeni has access to basic clean water supplies and is guaranteed a stable food source. The latest pledge from the UAE and Saudi Arabia goes a long way towards that goal, and shows clearly that the two nations will never abandon their Arab brothers in Yemen.
But there will be other work that needs to be done and the coalition is setting in place services that will ensure future peace, stability and prosperity of Yemen — building schools, hospitals, bridges, power and water supplies, and roads. All that the Al Houthis have received from their masters in Tehran is the ability to inflict suffering and violence on the people of Yemen — but little incentive for peace.