Oxfam is calling attention to the tragic milestone of March 26, which marks four years since the US and other international powers escalated the war in Yemen, leading to the humanitarian crisis we see today. In Yemen, millions are on the brink famine, and are without food, medicine, clean water and other necessities, all while airstrikes and ground fighting continue. Children are caught in the middle – losing out on education, stability and hope that peace can provide.
Oxfam is calling on US leaders to end the United States’ unconditional support for the Saudi and UAE-led coalition for good, and to hold all parties of the conflict accountable and in a path towards peace. With a House vote on War Powers pending and more legislation in the works, the US has the power to make a difference in this crisis. Quite simply, and above all else: Yemen needs peace.
Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead said, “Four years ago, a US-supported coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE escalated the Yemen war into an international crisis. Since then, I have met families there who have lost everything – their loved ones, their homes, their sense of security and hope.
“US policy puts standing with Gulf allies and tough talk on Iran ahead of what’s good for Yemen – with deadly consequences. It’s past time to direct attention back to the people caught in the middle of this crisis who are struggling to survive and demanding peace. Congress must help make this the last anniversary of US involvement in this war – and use their power to push for peace in Yemen.”
Oxfam will produce a pop up light projection of artwork by Yemeni street artist Murad Subay near the Capitol. The artist’s powerful image is a sketch of a young boy, dressed as a soldier with a gun slung over his shoulder, but dreaming of soccer. Quotes and more information about the artist are available. Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead, will be on site available for interviews.
Murad Subay, the artist, said, “The conflict makes us lose our dreams, our hopes, our life and our soul as well. I’m against every side in this war. Art cannot end our war, but Yemen needs art. Doing art in times of war means we want peace. It helps us ease the agony of war. In times of war, art works as a visual history.
“I want my work to depict war in the way it affects people. For these last eight years, I have been drawing murals around the country in a bid to raise awareness of the impact of conflict on Yemen’s civilian population. It depicts our present conditions with murals painted on the ruins of destroyed buildings that people can actually touch and see it on their way to work or to school or wherever they are going.
“The image used for this projection, child recruitment, highlights how many children are torn away from their families to die for a cause they don’t understand. The image shows a child soldier with a machine gun over his shoulder. He is looking down at the floor and a thought bubble shows that he is thinking about football [soccer], rather than being a soldier.”
WHEN: Monday, March 25 at 7:30PM
WHERE: Oxfam will project the image at a location close to the Capitol. Please contact Lauren Hartnett for exact location.
Contact: Lauren Hartnett, Oxfam America’s Senior Humanitarian Press Officer at +1 203-247-3920 or firstname.lastname@example.org