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Foreign Minister Schallenberg: “Austria is providing urgently needed aid to Yemen”

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In the Council of Ministers on 30 June 2020, the Federal Government decided to allocate 1 million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund (FDF) for Yemen.

In the Council of Ministers on 30 June 2020, the Federal Government decided to allocate 1 million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund (FDF) for Yemen. The humanitarian funds are being made available to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to alleviate the humanitarian emergency situation in Yemen.

“After years of armed conflict, the humanitarian situation in Yemen is catastrophic. With the funds decided today we are providing urgently needed aid on the ground to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population in Yemen” explained Foreign Minister Schallenberg.

According to the United Nations, Yemen is facing the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world. The armed conflict that has been going on since March 2015 has caused a catastrophic humanitarian emergency in Yemen. According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), about two thirds of the population suffer from acute hunger and 18 million people have no or insufficient access to drinking water. Almost half of all health facilities do not work. Floods at the end of April 2020 are further aggravating the plight of many of those affected; infectious diseases such as cholera and malaria are on the rise. With the spread of the coronavirus, the situation has worsened further.

“In order to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic globally, international solidarity is needed. With this aid Austria is making an important contribution” stressed Foreign Minister Schallenberg.

The ICRC is one of Austria’s most important partners for implementing humanitarian aid on the ground. Despite the considerable security risk and increasingly difficult access for humanitarian organisations, the ICRC is continuing its activities. The ICRC has reoriented its aid programme because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Access to drinking water and sanitation as well as health care and food supplies for internally displaced persons are the main priorities.