Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Seán Crowe has said that one of the key priorities of Ireland’s tenure on the UN Security Council must be working towards an end to the war in Yemen that has dragged on for over five years.
Teachta Crowe made his plea following a UNICEF report released today which says that there could be 2.4 million malnourished children in Yemen by the end of the year.
The Dublin South-West TD said:
“The war in Yemen has raged on for over five years now. The civilian population has suffered unimaginably as a result of this conflict and by far the greatest victims are the children of Yemen. Saudi airstrikes have wiped out infrastructure that is essential for the health and wellbeing of millions.
“9.58 million children do not have sufficient access to safe water, sanitation or hygiene, putting them at a greater risk of infection, while 7.8 million do not have access to education amid the school closures. 2.4 million will be malnourished by the end of the year.
“It is hard to grasp the scale of a number of children one and a half times the population of the island of Ireland not having access to clean water.
“80% of the population are reliant on humanitarian aid, but this is not sustainable.
“Foreign Aid has completely dried up, with only a third of the UN aid budget of last year pledged for this year.
“To make matters only worse, now Covid-19 is sweeping across the country, with a mortality rate five times that of the global average.
“Our time on the Security Council cannot simply be a matter of national prestige. We spent long enough and more than enough money to get there.
“Now, let us do some good with it. Ireland must be a champion for peace and human rights. We must devote our energies to ending the war in Yemen by every means at our disposal.
“We must call for an immediate arms embargo, lobby our fellow UN member states to restore funding to at least the levels of last year, and work with our Security Council colleagues to bring as much pressure as possible to end the war. Ireland has seen more than its share of strife and hunger in the past. We cannot sit by and watch more countries do the same.”