Coping with Coronavirus Series
The Diversity of Crises: Yemen in the Time of COVID-19
Date: 20 May 2020
Time: 1430h - 1600h CET
Online: Zoom Platform
Online Streaming Available here
Yemen is a country with rich history and culture, strategically positioned on the southern end of the Arabian peninsula. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Yemen’s security and stability has been challenged by both internal and external (f)actors. In the latest string of conflicts, the UN-backed government is struggling for control against the Iran-backed Ansar Allah (re: Houthi) movement, which uses Yemen as a launchpad for attacks against Saudi Arabia. Various external players, such as Iran and the Gulf states, are factoring into the equation as well. An assortment of peace initiatives have been launched to end hostilities and alleviate the suffering of the local population, however, so far without success. The situation is further aggravated by the presence of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Daesh and foreign fighters travelling from Africa.
After a devastating cholera outbreak, famine and recent floods, Yemen is set to face another crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic. As one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world, Yemen depends on foreign assistance and COVID-19 will represent not only a health-related challenge but it will also put further strain on Yemen’s economy and likely affect the delivery of humanitarian and developmental aid from foreign donors as they will be dealing with their own domestic consequences of the pandemic.
Against this backdrop, the Euro-Gulf Information Centre invites you to an online, expert discussion titled ‘The Diversity of Crises: Yemen in the Time of COVID-19’ to be held on Wednesday, 20 May 2020, from 14:30 to 16:00 CET (8:30-10:00 EDT). This webinar seeks to untangle the multitude and complexity of challenges besetting Yemen in the face of the global pandemic and raise awareness about some of the main issues faced by Yemen in order to help shape public debate and effective policies.
The main focus will be on the following topics:
1. Internal power struggles — Yemen’s Government, the Houthis, Southern Transitional Council, tribes, Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State
2. Regional players’ involvement—Role of Iran and the Gulf states
3. Peace Initiatives—the UN-backed peace talks and the Riyadh Agreement
4. COVID-19—further strain on local economy and foreign aid
• Fatima Abo Alasrar — Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute, specializing in Yemen and the Gulf with a focus on Shia transnational networks and conflict dynamics(Washington, DC, USA)
• Nadwa Al-Dawsari — Yemeni researcher, conflict practitioner, policy analyst, and a specialist on Yemeni tribes, founder of Partners Yemen (Amman, Jordan)
• Laura Silvia Battaglia Al-Jalal — Freelance Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker, with focus on the Middle East conflict areas, particularly Yemen and Iraq (Milan, Italy)
• Bushra Nasr Kretschmer — Economic Development Expert, Founder of Sabaa Consulting Services (Stockholm, Sweden)
• Sofia Barbarani — Journalist, Conflict and Humanitarian Reporting in the Middle East.