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e-2742 (Foreign affairs)

E-petition
Initiated by Mohamad Oukar from Dorval, Quebec

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • The citizens of the Republic of Yemen have been suffering from a humanitarian crisis since war began in 2015, and this has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with 20.1 million (approximately two thirds of the entire population) at risk for famine, 14 million of which require immediate assistance to survive;
  • There has been a previous petition from 2017 that was presented to the House of Commons in May of 2019, and the government responded with an allocation of $46.7 million to support the crisis;
  • However, the current COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly worsened the situation in Yemen and has the potential to cause more deaths than those from the past five years of devastating war, and additional restrictions are being imposed to the humanitarian aid being provided by the UN’s World Food Programme, causing significant delays to the 8.2 million people receiving that aid; and
  • The UN's World Food Programme urgently needs an additional US$ 737 million to ensure operations can continue unimpeded over the next six months.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
- Continue to encourage both sides in the conflict to seek a long-term, peaceful, and democratic resolution; and
- Provide another life-saving allocation to support the humanitarian response in Yemen, in light of the new circumstances and challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Response by the Minister of International Development

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Karina Gould

The Government of Canada is deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict in Yemen, which has caused civilian deaths, displaced families, threatened security and disrupted essential services.

For too long now, the people of Yemen, particularly women and children, have been bearing the brunt of the crisis. The ongoing conflict is fueling widespread instability and exacerbating what continues to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the humanitarian needs in Yemen.

That is why on March 1, 2021, Canada announced $69.9 million to respond to the humanitarian needs of people in Yemen, building on the $225 million that Canada has provided since 2015. This funding is supporting the efforts of United Nations (UN) agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and non governmental organizations in providing urgent assistance, such as food, medicine and clean water, for the most vulnerable communities in Yemen.

Canada is also constantly working to improve the effectiveness and quality of programming in humanitarian situations. In Yemen, Canada is doing this in part by providing predictable multi-year funding and unearmarked contributions. This includes through our support to joint donor mechanisms such as the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (a Country-Based Pooled Fund) and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). On March 1, 2021, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs approved an allocation of $40 million from the CERF to enable the scale-up of the life-saving humanitarian response in Yemen.

In addition to humanitarian support, Canada is investing in peace and stability in Yemen. Since December 2018, Canada has provided over $22 million in peace and security assistance in Yemen to support the UN-led peace process. Canada supports an inclusive peace process in Yemen, with a focus on increasing women’s participation.

Canada supports a political solution as the only way to end this conflict and remains fully supportive of UN Security Council Resolution 2216, adopted under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Canada firmly supports the efforts of the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Mr. Martin Griffiths, to achieve a lasting ceasefire and inclusive and sustainable peace. Canada also strongly supported the UN sponsored peace consultations on Yemen, which took place in December 2018. Canada urges all parties in Yemen to show restraint, de escalate hostilities and halt the tragic loss of life. In addition, Canada urges all parties to commit to a political dialogue and to work together toward the holding of subsequent rounds of peace consultations.

In September 2017, Canada worked closely with the Netherlands and a core group of partner countries at the UN Human Rights Council to call for the creation of a new mechanism to investigate human rights abuses and violations in Yemen. This led to the creation of a high level independent group of experts. In September 2019, Canada worked diligently with other countries at the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen.

Please be assured that the Government of Canada will continue to closely monitor the situation in Yemen, fully support efforts to resume talks toward a permanent and peaceful end to the conflict in that country, and encourage all parties to work toward that goal.

Open for signature
July 21, 2020, at 12:10 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
November 18, 2020, at 12:10 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie)
April 13, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00773)
Government response tabled
May 27, 2021
Photo - Alexandre Boulerice
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
New Democratic Party Caucus
Quebec
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