The UK will provide life-saving assistance to one million people a year in Yemen under new plans set out by International Development Minister Alan Duncan today during a visit to Sana’a, the country’s capital.
This UK support, up to £70m over the next two years, will provide emergency food assistance, shelter, clean water and help for people recovering from conflict.
Widespread humanitarian needs throughout Yemen are threatening the fragile political transition that has followed the events of the Arab Spring in 2011. UK funding will help to meet basic needs in the run up to open elections in February next year and through the first year of the new government, making a successful transition more viable, as well as saving lives.
Over one fifth of Yemen’s population are in urgent need of food assistance and nearly half of all children under five years old suffer from chronic malnutrition, with a quarter of a million of them at risk of death unless they get the treatment they need. The new support from the UK will:
provide shelter or water to 300,000 people, help 68,000 people earn a living and provide medicine and access to doctors for 25,000 people this year
provide rapid emergency assistance for over 200,000 people in the event of sudden crises, for example outbreaks of conflict or natural disasters
continue to tackle malnutrition in 1.65 million people and ensure 430,000 food insecure people get money or vouchers on a regular basis to purchase food
provide shelter, food and other aid to tens of thousands of people across Yemen who have been driven out of their homes as a result of conflict
support hundreds of thousands of people with cash for work schemes, employment, or the chance to earn a better income from home and small businesses
Speaking from Sana’a, International Development Minister Alan Duncan said:
“In the last two years, Yemen has been pushed to the brink of civil war and seen the ousting of President Saleh after 32 years in power, all while dealing with a protracted and complex humanitarian crisis. The elections that will take place in a year’s time are critical to a stable, prosperous future for Yemen. As well as providing immediate, lifesaving aid, this new support will help to provide a backdrop against which the political transition, centred around the elections, has a greater chance of success.
“Critically, by providing support to the agencies we work with on a two-year basis, we will give them the predictable funding they need to plan the longer term support programmes that will address the root causes of the humanitarian crisis rather than simply tackling the symptoms.
“Short term funding can provide a rapid response, but long-term funding means aid agencies can commit to the initiatives needed to effect meaningful change. This will help people recover from crisis and support their families without being dependent on emergency assistance.”
Notes to Editors
- Underlying causes of Yemen’s humanitarian crisis include:
protracted conflict in the North with the Houthi rebels over a number of years and conflict in 2012 in Abyan in Southern Yemen with Al Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which has caused extensive damage to property and displaced more than half a million people;
a major economic downturn in 2011 which saw the economy contract by 10%, widespread job losses, and severe increases in the prices of basic goods such as food, water and fuel;
broader unrest and a breakdown in security which has led to widespread fighting, disruptions in public service provision and displacement of civilians; and
a continued and increasing inflow of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from the Horn of Africa. The country is now host to 265,000 refugees and 100,000 vulnerable and stranded migrants with 107,000 of these arriving in 2012 alone.
As a consequence of the ongoing crisis, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs now assess that, out of a population of 24 million, around 10 million are food insecure and five million in urgent need of food assistance. One million children under five (47% of all under-fives) are suffering from chronic malnutrition with 250,000 suffering from acute malnutrition and at risk of death without treatment; 13 million people do not have access to safe water or sanitation; and five million have no access to health care.
The funding announced here forms part of the United Kingdom’s pledge of £196 million of support to Yemen over the three years 2012/13 to 2014/15 made at the donor conference held in Riyadh in September 2012.
The UN’s Consolidated Humanitarian Appeal for Yemen for 2013 is for $716 million, an increase of more than 20% on 2012. The funding announced here covers the UK’s contribution towards the UN 2013 appeal and funding against future appeals in 2014 and 2015. The package of funding includes funds for DFID’s programme, announced on the Minister’s visit to Yemen in October 2012, to address malnutrition delivered by UNICEF. Further specific programmes and agencies to deliver these are being determined and will be announced during the year.
In 2012/13 the UK provided £33 million of humanitarian assistance and was the third largest humanitarian donor to Yemen in 2012 as recorded under the UN humanitarian financial tracking system.
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