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UN humanitarian chief recognizes Saudi Arabia’s contribution to aid appeal for Yemen

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Calls on all factions to allow access to aid for all those across Yemen most in need

(New York 23 September 2015) The Emergency Relief Coordinator and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, thanked the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre for its significant contribution to the underfunded humanitarian appeal for Yemen.

“The King Salman Center is providing $244 million pledged to nine United Nations entities working to alleviate the suffering of millions of people in Yemen,” said Mr. O’Brien.

The humanitarian situation has continued to deteriorate since the conflict in Yemen intensified in March. Eighty per cent of the population in Yemen is now in need of humanitarian assistance.
The provision of basic services, including water, sanitation and healthcare, has been severely disrupted. Food insecurity is deepening with infrastructure damaged, and fuel and food shortfalls that are exacerbated by limited imports. Explosive weapons continue to be used in densely populated areas. Humanitarians’ access to deliver assistance remains severely restricted.

“Despite immense challenges and safety concerns, relief organizations on the ground are working hard to reach people in need,” said Mr. O’Brien. The United Nations and its partners are using the funding received to provide urgently needed food, healthcare, potable water and other assistance to the Yemeni people, as well as to coordinate the response.

“The $1.6 billion overall humanitarian appeal for Yemen is still only 38 per cent funded, while Yemenis continue to suffer,” Mr. O’Brien said. “Millions of people in Yemen face extreme hunger and violence, with medical assistance dwindling in many areas.”

“We urgently need more funding to reach 11.7 million people in need in Yemen,” Mr. O’Brien said. “But we also need the warring factions to make good on their pledges to allow humanitarian aid to reach the people most in need.”

“I also reiterate my call on all parties involved in the conflict to abide by international law and make every effort to avoid civilian casualties during all operations,” said Mr. O’Brien. “Moreover, the best humanitarian response for the people of Yemen is for the conflict to cease.”

For further information, please contact: Russell Geekie, OCHA NY, +1 9173676390, +1 347 654 0931, geekie@un.org OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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