The Shattering of Yemen: Why Ending the War Is More Difficult Than Ever
The Shattering of Yemen: Why Ending the War Is More Difficult Than Ever

The Shattering of Yemen: Why Ending the War Is More Difficult Than Ever

U.S. President Joe Biden has made ending Yemen’s civil war a central pillar of his Middle East policy. In his maiden foreign policy address at the State Department, he committed to ending American support for the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive operations and announced the appointment of a U.S. special envoy for Yemen. The war, he said “has created a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.”

Six months later, however, the catastrophe is only getting worse. The Houthi rebels, who seized the capital of Sanaa in 2014, have intensified their offensive in the governorate of Marib, the internationally recognized government’s last stronghold in the country’s north. Yemen’s twin economic and humanitarian crises have also deepened amid a fuel crisis in the north, a currency collapse in the south, a 50 percent shortfall in funding for the UN’s humanitarian response, and, for good measure, flash floods. Aid agencies believe publicly reported COVID-19 deaths vastly underestimate the real number of people killed by the virus. And diplomacy has stalled: the UN-led cease-fire initiative promoted by the new U.S. envoy has failed to make any progress, and may be beyond resuscitation.

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Contributors

Program Director, U.S.
mwhanna1
Former Senior Analyst, Yemen