In the photo below, mass graves for victims of COVID-19, and other diseases are being dug out in Aden, Yemen.
My name is Ruben Lopez, I'm a musician and cyclist from Chicago. On August 18th, I will start my 5,000 mile journey across the country to raise funds and awareness for Yemen.
Since the start of the Yemen war, millions of Yemenis have suffered in a country that is already the poorest in the region. The World Food Program and USAID has decided to cut funding that provides food to millions of citizens at the start of Yemen's COVID-19 pandemic.
This is aid that is already congressionally approved.
With over 22 million Yemenis experiencing starvation, and over 85,000 children dead from malnutrition, a suspension of aid is nothing but cruel warfare against innocent civilians.
On top of this, Saudi/UAE airstrikes continue to attack Yemen, destroying hospitals, clinics, homes and schools. With few medical institutions running, Yemen is unequipped to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, cholera and dengue fever outbreak.
Yemen needs us now more than ever. So what can you do?
I'm cycling 5,000 miles to raise funds to for Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation (YRRF). 100% of the funds will go directly to YRRF. Here are the reasons why I've chosen them:
> They are completely volunteer and Yemeni run, so all donations go to those in need not salaries
> Unlike many charities, they are able to get through the Saudi/UAE blockade and deliver aid into Yemen
> They are anti-war organizers
Check out their website!
Demand reinstatement of aid:
Call and email your representatives to demand ending the suspension to all parts of Yemen. Use your social media platforms to tag them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and send a message to reinstate aid. Use hashtag #yemencantwait
Here is a link to find your reps
Here is the link to find your senators
Use this email template to reach out to your elected officials:
Dear [ELECTED OFFICIAL]
I urge you to do everything in your power to press USAID to reverse its suspension of tens of millions of dollars in congressionally appropriated assistance to Yemen. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, these cuts would have had dire consequences for Yemenis already suffering through the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Now, with the UN recording COVID cases in multiple Yemeni communities, this aid suspension threatens to exacerbate the virus’s toll in a country where millions are already immunocompromised from years of war and near-starvation.
Share this journey!
As the war enters its fifth year, we remember the lives lost through senseless violence and destruction. We remember the millions of families displaced from their homes, and the children who have lost their schools due to Saudi airstrikes.
A united front can end this horrific, egregious war. Help Yemen know peace!
- regina k
- Sheila Weithman
- Kelly Atkin
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