Lack of funding cripples humanitarian operations in Yemen [EN/AR]

News and Press Release
Originally published


Sana’a, 23 September 2020 – Fifteen of the United Nations’ 41 major humanitarian programmes in hardhit Yemen have already been reduced or shut down and 30 more will be in coming weeks unless additional funding is received.

“It’s an impossible situation,” said Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “This is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world yet we don’t have the resources we need to save the people who are suffering and will die if we don’t help.”

“The consequences of under-funding are immediate, enormous and devastating,” said Ms. Grande. “Nearly every humanitarian worker has had to tell a hungry family or someone who is ill that we can’t help them because we don’t have funding,” said Ms. Grande.

Between April and August, agencies have been forced to reduce food distributions, cut health services in more than 300 facilities and halt specialized services for hundreds of thousands of traumatized and highly vulnerable women and girls.

“Donors have been incredibly generous during the war, providing billions of dollars to support people who have nowhere to go and no one else to turn to,” said Ms. Grande. “But this year, we are falling short, way short, of what we need.”

Only USD $1 billion of the $3.2 billion needed has been received this year.

“We can overcome this crisis if everyone contributes,” said Ms. Grande. “Everyone has a role.”

“We need authorities to put in place the conditions that allow humanitarians to deliver aid in accordance with universal humanitarian principles. We need parties to the conflict to lift the blockade and do everything possible to minimize the impact of the war on families and communities. We ask that donors stand in solidarity with the people of Yemen, dig deep and continue to provide the resources we need.” “Humanitarians are doing their part. We are on the ground every day, working in one of the toughest environments and under some of the most difficult conditions, delivering assistance to millions of Yemenis,” said Ms. Grande. “This is an operation with real impact. Humanitarians helped to roll-back famine two years ago and we’ve worked with authorities to stem the worst cholera outbreak in modern history.”

“We can do more, and we want to do more—but we need the right conditions and we need funding.” Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 per cent of the population – over 24 million people - require some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. At the High-Level Pledging Event in Riyadh held on 2 June, donors pledged only US$1.35 billion of the $2.41 billion needed to cover essential humanitarian activities until the year end, leaving a gap of more than $1 billion.