The war in Yemen and the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran
Will Iran’s diplomatic rapprochement with Saudi Arabia, achieve with China’s mediation, impact Yemen’s ongoing civil war since 2015? The Saudi Arabia-backed Yemeni government and the Iranian-backed Huti movement are fighting against each other there. The first results of the agreement signed in Beijing include the launch of a security cooperation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran and a pledge to respect the sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of both countries.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni government and the Huti movement have agreed to release nearly 900 prisoners of war under terms of an agreement negotiated by the UN as part of an international effort to end the conflict. According to the UN, hundreds of thousands of people have died in the war, and millions have left their homes. More than 23.4 million people – ¾ of Yemen’s population – including 2.2 million children and young people suffering from severe malnutrition, are in need of assistance.
According to Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, humanitarian organisations have to “segregate those in need in the emergency ward of despair” due to a lack of aid funds. The world has promised to provide only ¼ of the $4.3 billion needed for this year’s humanitarian aid, and less than 5% of the necessary funds have actually been delivered. Countries that have been directly or indirectly involved in the war in Yemen – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom and other European nations – are unwilling to contribute more strongly to the aid, have promised less funding than before, or will not provide any support at all.