(Djibouti, 13 August 2015) The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, visited Yemen and Djibouti this week to see for himself the enormous needs caused by the conflict, as well as meet people from affected communities.
“The humanitarian needs in the country are staggering. I walked through the rubble of family homes, drove through destroyed neighbourhoods and met displaced people. Regardless of what side of the frontlines they were on, the stories people shared were those of shattered lives and devastated livelihoods.”
During the five-day mission, Stephen O’Brien visited Sana’a, Amran and Aden. He met with Yemeni people, authorities on both sides of the frontlines and with aid workers from the United Nations, national and international NGOs. On the last day of the mission, he visited Djibouti, a country hosting over 20,000 refugees from Yemen.
“The United Nations and humanitarian partners have assisted nearly seven million people since the crisis in Yemen escalated. We and our partners are committed to continue scaling up humanitarian assistance in Yemen. However, the ongoing aid effort is severely hampered by the lack of funding,” warned USG O’Brien.
Needs are enormous but only 18 per cent - or $282 million dollars – of the $1.6 billion dollars requested by the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan have been received. In Yemen, 21 million people now need of some form of humanitarian assistance – a staggering 80 per cent of the population.
“It is clear that humanitarian assistance cannot substitute for commercial imports, nor replace the role of the Government and businesses in providing basic services and essential goods, such as food, fuel, medicines or other commodities. The economy is on the brink of collapse, and resuming commercial imports is crucial to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
Concluding his mission, USG O’Brien said that he had a strong message for the international community. “Yemen needs peace. There is no military solution to this conflict. The fighting must stop. I call on all parties to the conflict, and those who can influence them, especially in the region, to find a durable, political solution, for the sake of the Yemeni people. We must not fail them.”
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.