‘We are deeply concerned about the dramatic developments in Yemen. The conflict is having a severe impact on the civilian population and there is an urgent need for emergency aid. Norway is therefore providing NOK 30 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating. The developments over the past few weeks are having severe consequences, and could create a new refugee crisis. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Norwegian Refugee Council have warned of a looming catastrophe. According to UN estimates, between 500 and 600 people have been killed and nearly 2 000 wounded in recent weeks. The actual numbers are probably higher and are likely to rise rapidly.
‘I urge all parties to the conflict to comply with international law, in particular to respect the rules set out in international humanitarian law on the protection of civilians, hospitals and schools. All parties must do what they can to ensure that the emergency aid reaches the civilian population,’ Mr Brende said.
Due to the extensive fighting in the capital Sanaa and the strategically important port city of Aden, the UN and international organisations have withdrawn international staff from Yemen. Only a handful of humanitarian organisations are still operating in the country. Aid workers from the Yemen Red Crescent have been killed and it is difficult to reach the affected population. There have also been reports of overcrowded hospitals, rising food prices and a shortage of water.
The support Norway is now providing will go primarily to NGOs that are still working in Yemen and are able to provide life-saving assistance such as health care, food, safe water and and emergency relief supplies.