Co-hosts statement issued on behalf of: The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, UK Secretary of State for International Development; Mr Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations; Ambassador Hesham Youssef, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
On 21 September, we hosted an international meeting on the forgotten crisis in Yemen. Over 18 months into the current conflict, the humanitarian situation is not receiving enough international attention, the international response is critically underfunded, and the international humanitarian delivery system is yet to deliver effectively.
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is one of the most serious in the world and it is having a devastating impact on civilians. Millions of Yemenis no longer have enough money to buy food and other essential goods. The economy and public services, especially the health system, are collapsing severely exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. Access for essential imports and humanitarian staff and supplies continues to be severely constrained.
Today, we agreed that the international community must act now to bring an urgent step- change in the humanitarian response on the ground and avoid a further deterioration of the humanitarian crisis. We urged the parties to the conflict to reaffirm their commitment to the peace process facilitated by the United Nations. We called upon all sides to uphold their responsibilities and obligations under international humanitarian and human rights laws, and to take all necessary steps to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure; to allow safe, rapid, and unhindered access for humanitarian staff and supplies; and facilitate access for essential imports of food, fuel, and medical supplies to and within Yemen.
We agreed that humanitarian agencies should urgently scale up operations in Yemen in line with global commitments. This includes agreement to; urgently deploy senior, experienced leaders and more humanitarian experts at the national and sub-national levels; improve the speed, scale and coordination of the humanitarian response; protect civilians and incorporate protection across the response; and improve direct communication with, and seek feedback from, those affected by the crisis in Yemen.
We agreed on the urgent need for donors to provide more and better financing to the response in Yemen as the 2016 Yemen Humanitarian Response is seriously under-funded. Thanks to the generosity of countries across the world, over $100m in new, additional funding has been announced at this event for Yemen, including a $50m contribution by the UK. We continue to urge others to do more, including through providing more flexible and transparent financing, in line with World Humanitarian Summit Outcomes. Given the scale and severity of need in Yemen, we also agreed to hold ourselves collectively to account in delivering the commitments we have all made today.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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