On 7th December the European Commission announced new humanitarian aid of €25 million to support civilians in desperate need in Yemen. This brings the total EU funding to €196.7 million since the start of the conflict in 2015.
The current measures restricting humanitarian and commercial access together with the intense armed clashes and air strikes reported from Sana'a over recent days threaten to further deprive people from food, water and basic services.
"Children, women and men urgently need access to food, water and medical services in Yemen. All parties to the conflict must give priority to protecting civilians and allow humanitarian aid to get to the people. Unless all restrictions on imports of food, fuel and medical supplies are lifted immediately, Yemen will suffer the largest famine in the world in decades. The EU is committed to supporting the Yemeni people. Our new funding will support key UN agencies working on the ground," said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
The new aid will support the distribution of food by the World Food Programme (WFP) as well as humanitarian logistical and transport capacity by the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). The EU has also provided humanitarian assistance to Yemen during 2017 for the cholera outbreak that affected several parts of the country.
The EU has long reiterated that there cannot be a military solution to the conflict and called on all the parties to respect International Humanitarian Law, to urgently agree on a cessation of hostilities, and engage in a negotiation process.
Yemen is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world; 22.2 million people are now in need of assistance – 80% of the country's population.
The impact of measures restricting humanitarian and commercial access can already be felt; up to 90% of Yemen's food supply is dependent on commercial imports, as is the majority of its fuel and medicine. A shortage of fuel reported since the onset of the restrictions has caused food prices to rise.
The partial opening of Sana'a airport and Hodeida port remain largely insufficient to prevent a humanitarian tragedy of unprecedented proportions.
Besides suffering from the worst cholera outbreak in modern history, diphtheria has returned to 13 of the 22 governorates of Yemen, 25 years after the deadly disease was officially eradicated in the country.