Humanitarian programmes shut down as donors neglect funding pledges
Severe acute food insecurity persists despite improvement in worst affected districts
Rapid response mechanism strives to overcomes obstacles while under funding threat
Mass casualty incidents follow mid-year fall in civilian casualty numbers
Number of migrant and refugee arrivals spike regardless of conflict and risks
Humanitarian Programmes Shut Down as Donors Neglect Funding Pledges
Some of the biggest donors to the Yemen humanitarian operation have still to uphold commitments made at the High-Level Pledging event convened by the UN Secretary-General in Geneva in February 2019. At the event, donors promised USS2.6 billion of the S4.2 billion needed for the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, which aims to provide assistance to over 20 million Yemenis. To date, only $1.42 billion of these Geneva pledges has been received, 44 per cent the amount pledged, leaving humanitarian programmes and the people they serve at risk. Out of the 40 donors who made pledges at the event only 22 have fulfilled or contributed more than they pledged, some of the largest donors have underpaid or paid nothing. If three large Gulf donors, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, paid in full, the fulfillment figure for pledges made at the Geneva conference would rise to 95 per cent.
"Essential programmes are now closing down," the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Ursula Mueller briefed the Security Council on 20 August. in the next few days, water and sanitation programmes will stop in 4 governorates, leaving 300,000 displaced people at extreme risk of cholera,' Ms. Mueller said, warning of further programme closures in corning months affecting millions of people. "We are desperate for the funds that were promised", Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen asserted in a statement the following day. "'When money doesn't come, people die."
Funding for some life-saving medical and nutrition services ceased in May - threatening the lives of up to 9 million people. Various livelihoods programmes have been unable to start, including cash and agricultural support projects targeting people facing catastrophic and acute food insecurity. A mine action programme in Al Hudaydah has gone unfunded, putting the port, roads and other areas at risk. Specialized support programmes for women have closed or are closing, including reproductive health services for a million women at 268 health facilities, 4 specialized mental health facilities and 14 safe spaces. The Rapid Response Mechanism (RAM) which provides life-saving supplies to newly displaced people, is also under threat.
Overall, of the 34 major UN humanitarian programmes in Yemen, only three have funding for the year. Twenty-two life-saving programmes, designed to help destitute and hungry families will close in the next two months unless funding is received - food rations for 12 million people will be reduced and at least 2.5 million malnourished children will be cut-off from the services which keep them alive. Some 19 million people will lose access to health care. Clean water programmes for 5 million people will shut at the end of October and tens of thousands of displaced families may fmd themselves homeless.
Ms. Grande highlighted how funding provided by donors who have fulfilled their promises has allowed humanitarians to double or even triple assistance in some areas, The impact when we do so is immediate: including bringing people back from the brink of famine in half of the districts at risk.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.