(Sana’a/ Geneva, 19 June 2015): Aid agencies today called for US$1.6 billion to help the most vulnerable 11.7 million people affected by the devastating humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Of this total, a funding shortfall of more than US$1.4 billion remains up till the end of the year.
“A looming humanitarian catastrophe is facing Yemen,” warned the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, at the launch of the appeal in Geneva. “People across the country are struggling to feed their families. Basic services are collapsing in all regions. Millions of families no longer have access to clean water, proper sanitation or basic healthcare. Deadly diseases such as dengue and malaria have broken out, and supplies for acute trauma care are running dangerously low.”
Thousands of people have been killed and injured by airstrikes and ground fighting in the last three months. Over 1 million people have fled their homes and civilians have been targeted as they try to reach safer areas. A staggering 80 per cent of the population need humanitarian assistance - over 21 million people. Innocent men, women and children are bearing the brunt of the violence.
“The disregard for international humanitarian law by parties to the conflict has come with a high human toll. There is also an urgent need for full resumption of commercial imports as reductions have crippled the country, putting millions at risk,” said Mr. O’Brien.
The revised 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan aims to provide essential protection and lifesaving assistance including food, water, and shelter to the most vulnerable families in need. Relief agencies are scaling up operations to ensure the plan can be implemented, increasing the number of staff in-country and stockpiling supplies entering Yemen. At the launch of the revised Plan, Mr. O'Brien welcomed a generous announcement of $244.7 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support humanitarian response in Yemen, and announcements of support from other countries.
“While this plan allows us to relieve the dire human suffering in Yemen, it alone is not enough to end the living nightmare faced by so many families. Only a political solution to the Yemen crisis can end the unacceptable and intolerable level of suffering,” stressed the global aid chief.
Despite dangers on the ground, aid agencies continue to reach people in need. Since the escalation of the conflict in March, food assistance has been delivered to over 1.9 million people; nearly 140,000 children under age 5 have been screened for malnutrition; emergency medical treatment has been provided to over 22,000 people; clean water and sanitation support has been provided to over 1.6 million people; and fuel has been provided to enable water pumping to reach 7.3 million people. While critical, this assistance falls far short of meeting people’s critical needs.
The Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen can be viewed here.
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