Co-Chairs’ summary issued by Ms. Margot Walström, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden; Mr. Bert Koenders, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; and Mr. Mark Lowcock,
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
On 22 September, we co-chaired an international meeting on the largest humanitarian crisis in the world – Yemen. This man-made catastrophe urgently needs man-made solutions. Yemen is facing the worst food insecurity crisis in the world with 17 million people who are food insecure – nearly 7 million of whom are one step away from famine. Simultaneously, Yemen has been the epicentre of the single largest outbreak of cholera in a single year, with more than 700,000 suspected cases and over 2,100 associated deaths reported since 27 April.
Despite challenges, humanitarian partners have reached some 7 million people with some form of assistance this year in every governorate of the country. We also expressed our solidarity with Yemeni partners who have been on the front lines delivering assistance, treating the ill and wounded, especially in areas that are difficult for international partners to access.
In the meeting, we urged the parties to end the conflict and find a political solution through the peace process facilitated by the United Nations, as also highlighted in the Security Council Presidential Statement of 15 June 2017. We called upon all sides to uphold their responsibilities and obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law; to take all necessary steps to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure; to allow safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian staff and supplies; and to facilitate access for essential imports of food, fuel, and medical supplies to and within Yemen.
We resolved to redouble efforts in the international community to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Yemen. Most urgently, we called on the parties and those with influence over them to support the immediate payment of civil servant salaries for critical basic services, such as health, water and sanitation and education workers; the unconditional installation of the four mobile cranes at Hudaydah port to increase port capacity; and the re-opening of Sana’a airport for commercial flights, not least for those seeking medical assistance abroad.
We also called on donors to support the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) as the most effective channel for humanitarian action in 2017 and beyond. We noted that the 2017 YHRP is 45 per cent funded, and welcomed $207.5 million in additional pledges today from Denmark ($12.8 million), the Netherlands ($3 million), the United Kingdom ($21.7 million) and the United States ($170 million).
Finally, the international community recognized and praised humanitarian efforts under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.