Associate Director for US Advocacy Anastasia Moran said,

"We are concerned by the U.S. government’s designation of Ansar Allah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group (SDGT), which we expect to affect Yemeni civilians more than anyone else. Around 75% of Yemenis live in areas under the control of Ansar Allah. Humanitarian exemptions alone are often not enough to mitigate harm from sanctions. Civilians also require functional health systems and markets. Yemen is extremely dependent on imports for commercial goods, including for the majority of its food, medicine, and fuel. With over 18 million people in need of humanitarian aid, including 2.2 million children under five malnourished and an ongoing cholera outbreak, a streamlined and reliable supply chain is vital. 

Today's decision follows a deeply concerning military escalation in Yemen, including attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea, threatening hard-won progress towards peace efforts and a path to recovery for Yemeni civilians who have suffered nearly nine years of conflict.  

The country is already seen as a high risk environment for financial institutions, suppliers and other private sector actors. Wider exemptions for commercial activity and proactive, forward leaning guidance from the US government to the private sector are now required at a minimum. But even with carve outs, there is likely to be a serious chilling effect. We are concerned some private sector actors including food importers and banks facilitating transactions for humanitarian organizations may choose to disengage altogether."