I hope you have had a pleasant and safe 4th of July weekend!
I also hope that all of you are doing ok in the midst of the challenges we are all facing at this time. For me, I find that focusing on my projects can be tough, my attention span is not what it was before COVUD, I vacillate between anxiety and hopefulness, and I wonder what next week will bring – not to mention next year or after. But we, in America, are not the only ones facing crises now. In fact, for us, things are significantly better than in other areas of the world. This week, Luke Thompson from Diocesan Council’s Resolution Review Committee has chosen to highlight the following resolution which addresses the challenges that the people of Yemen are facing right now:
B013 Response to Yemen Humanitarian Crisis
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, as followers of Jesus Christ, recognize our moral imperative to address our deep concern and dismay over the ongoing conflict in Yemen, now in its fourth year, and the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict, which has left 22 million people—three-quarters of the country’s population—in need of humanitarian assistance including food and clean water; and be it further
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church direct the Office of Government Relations to call upon the U.S. government: 1) to observe the embargo of arms sales to all parties in the conflict, as called for by the United Nations, and specifically to avoid supplying munitions, military equipment or technology that could be used in the conflict, as well as logistical and financial support for such transfers; 2) to call upon all parties to the conflict to allow unobstructed access in the conflict areas for humanitarian relief organizations, medical relief personnel, human rights investigators, and journalists; and 3) to express an urgent need for a politically negotiated solution; and be it further
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church recognize that throughout the Middle East region access to water and sustainable agriculture are serious problems and a primary source of conflict; and encourage the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief and Development to undertake, in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, relief and long-term economic development projects in areas such as education, job creation, and health care, as well as sustainable solutions for the lack of access to water.
According to Human Rights Watch, an organization headquartered in New York City that conducts research on human rights, Yemen was facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis last year and this year things are only getting worse. With the coronavirus, the rates of death could exceed the numbers from the civil war. The United Nations has been reducing aid to Yemen since last year. Water and sanitation services are being stopped. Hospital services are being drastically reduced in 189 hospitals. Yemen has 369 hospitals. Two-and-a-half million children are at risk of hunger because aid for food will no longer be available in a month.
Recently, a refugee had an interview with a CNN reporter in the port city of Hodeidah and said, “Cholera and the wars are one thing and corona is something else. With war we moved from one place to another and we settled down. But with corona, no matter where you go, it will find you.”
- What can we do?
- Donate to Yemen through Islamic Relief irusa.org/
- Another way to help is through Project Hope at https://secure.projecthope.org/
- Donate money to World Food Program. They have had to reduce their donations from every month to every other month with less funds to work with. https://secure.wfpusa.org/donate/save-lives-giving-food-today-donate-now-7?ms=2000_UNR_wfp_redirect_EX&redirected=US
Let us pray.
O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom: Defend us, thy humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)
~ Luke Thompson, Diocesan Council Resolution Review Committee