Humanitarian community reaffirms commitment to Yemen

The European Commission and Sweden hosted a Humanitarian Senior Officials Meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, with the participation of the main humanitarian actors on 13 February in Brussels.

All participants – donors, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) – expressed a shared concern and commitment to act collectively.

Donors reaffirmed their full support for the UN, INGOs and other humanitarian organisations. Humanitarian and development organisations agreed on a shared commitment to remain engaged and ready to help the Yemeni population, recalling the obligation by all parties to protect civilians and to comply with International Humanitarian Law.

The following joint statement was issued by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič and Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson:

“We brought together the main humanitarian actors engaged in the Yemen crisis, the world largest humanitarian crisis. Needs in Yemen are unprecedented. All humanitarian actors remain firmly committed to continue providing vital support to the people of Yemen in line with humanitarian principles.

We are deeply alarmed at the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian space all over the country. It has reached a breaking point where delivery of life-saving assistance is at risk. A concrete step change is needed in order to continue to provide vital support to the people of Yemen. All restrictions, obstructions and interference violating humanitarian principles should be removed immediately and once and for all.

Therefore, we welcome the commitment reached today by the humanitarian community for a common approach to face these challenges. This includes recalibrating humanitarian assistance, including a downscaling, or even interruption, of certain operations, if and where delivery of humanitarian aid in accordance with the humanitarian principles is impossible. This also includes a dialogue with all parties and the recent indication of willingness to remove constraints for aid delivery on the ground needs to be followed up. An intensified engagement should therefore be immediately pursued including through high-level missions by the UN and donors to Yemen.

We pay tribute to the work of all our partners who are operating under such extreme conditions on the ground. We recall the obligation by all parties to comply with International Humanitarian Law.

A long-term solution requires a comprehensive peace agreement. We urge all parties to actively support the UN-led negotiations aiming at a peaceful solution to the crisis.”