Yesterday, a virtual High-Level Pledging Event took place for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. For the last five years war has torn apart the country, whose population depends mostly on humanitarian aid to survive. The current Covid-19 pandemic makes it even more crucial for the international community to keep funding UN programs that are in place, and to allocate new resources to support Yemen’s healthcare system.
To quote Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock: “Yemen remains both the world’s largest crisis and its largest humanitarian response. Millions of people depend on this response to survive, and we must do everything we can to ensure that help reaches all those who need it in accordance with humanitarian principles.”
In accordance with its long-standing support of international humanitarian aid principles (human, neutral, impartial and independent), Belgium supports OCHA’s Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF). That fund is the largest Country-Based Pooled Fund (CBPF) in the world and it makes funding directly available to humanitarian partners operating in Yemen so they can deliver timely and effective life-saving assistance to those who need it most.
As a principled donor and firm believer of International Humanitarian Law and the multilateral system, Belgium has decided to increase its support to the UN efforts in Yemen by pledging an additional 5 million € to the Yemen Humanitarian Fund.
In order to tackle the Coronavirus in humanitarian crises, Belgium reallocated an additional 22 million euros to its humanitarian budget of which 5 million has been pledged to the ICRC, whose actions in Yemen have proven invaluable in slowing the spread of Covid-19.
Finally, ongoing tensions and clashes have direct consequences on the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Sustainable peace can only be achieved through an inclusive political process. Belgium fully back the Secretary General’s appeal for worldwide humanitarian ceasefires, including in Yemen and maintains its unequivocal support for the efforts of the UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, to help resume dialogue between all parties. In the UN Security Council, Belgium will continue to advocate for unhindered access to humanitarian aid in the country, for respect of International Humanitarian Law and for a nationwide ceasefire.