UN Emergency Fund releases $15 million for critical aid operations in Yemen
(New York, 4 September 2015) – United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien has released an additional US$15 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support lifesaving assistance for millions of people affected by the devastating humanitarian crisis in Yemen. This brings CERF support for humanitarian operations in the country to more than $44 million in 2015.
“The scale of human suffering in Yemen is almost incomprehensible,” said the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “The civilian population is bearing the brunt of the conflict: a shocking four out of five Yemenis require humanitarian assistance and nearly 1.5 million people are internally displaced.”
The provision of basic services, including water, sanitation and healthcare, has been severely disrupted. The country is facing deepening food insecurity which is the result of damaged infrastructure and fuel and food shortfalls, further exacerbated by limited imports. Yet access for humanitarians to deliver assistance remains severely restricted.
Despite these immense challenges and safety concerns, relief organizations on the ground are working hard to reach people in need. This latest allocation from CERF will help reduce the risk of communicable diseases through waste cleanup, the provision of clean water and urgent supplies for health facilities. CERF funds will be used for demining and the removal of unexploded ordnance, which will increase the safety of civilians and expand humanitarian space to reach people in need. People who have fled their homes will also receive household supplies such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets and water buckets.
The conflict in Yemen intensified in March this year and aid agencies have since received over $44 million from CERF for critical assistance, including the provision of fuel, medicine, clean water, sanitation services and nutrition. CERF grants have been used to scale-up humanitarian air services and improve port facilities, facilitating the delivery of lifesaving assistance to affected communities.
“CERF continues to provide a lifeline for humanitarian operations in Yemen, but more funds are urgently needed,” Mr. O’Brien said. “I urge donors to continue supporting relief efforts in Yemen.”
CERF pools donor contributions in a single fund so that money is available to start or continue urgent relief work anywhere in the world. Since its inception in 2006, 125 UN Member States and dozens of private sector donors and regional authorities have contributed to the Fund. CERF has allocated more than $4 billion in support of humanitarian operations in 95 countries and territories.
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