With 10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, donors pledge $2.6 billion

UN Photo/Jean Marc Ferre Secretary-General António Guterres and Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, attend the High Level Pledging event on Yemen in Geneva, 26 February 2019.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Donors have pledged $2.6 billion to provide urgently needed support to millions of Yemeni civilians facing an “overwhelming humanitarian calamity” after nearly four years of brutal war, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a pledging conference in Geneva, Mr. Guterres welcomed the generosity of Member States, who pledged 30 per cent more than during last year’s conference to raise life-saving funds for Yemen.

The UN chief also announced that the World Food Programme (WFP) has been able to reach the so-called Red Sea Mills food stores in the key port city of Hudaydah, where more than 50,000 tonnes of wheat – enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month – has been trapped for months, due to fighting between coalition forces backing the Government, and Houthi rebels who control the city and port.

The UN emergency food assistance agency confirmed the information but has yet to announce if its stocks are fit to eat, after months without access.

The highest contributors at the conference – at $500 million each – were Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, supporters of the internationally recognized Government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

“The donors have pledged 30 per cent more than last year to help address the dramatic humanitarian situation in Yemen,” the UN Secretary-General said. “From $2 billion in the pledging conference of 2018, to U$2.6 billion in the pledging conference of 2019. Several countries have naturally increased their contributions, but I think it is fair to say that the two most relevant elements in this increase came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

Nearly four years since fighting escalated in Yemen, civilians continue to suffer most.

“Tens of thousands of people have bene killed or injured since the conflict escalated, many of them civilians,” Mr. Guterres said. “Many more have died from preventable diseases, exacerbated by malnutrition.” He noted that around 20 million are unable to “reliably feed themselves or their families”, adding that “almost 10 million are just one step away from famine.”

360,000 Yemini children ‘fighting for their lives every day’

Highlighting the impact on the youngest Yemenis, the UN chief noted that “children did not start the war in Yemen, but they are paying the highest price. Some 360,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, fighting for their lives every day. One credible report puts the number of children under-five who have died of starvation, at more than 80,000.”

Conference co-host Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margaret Walstrom described a similarly dire situation in the country, which was already one of the poorest in the world before violence cut desperately needed imports of food, fuel and medicine.

Citing the latest food security data, which is known officially as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) index, she said: “We must now face the shocking fact that 240,000 people, according to newly published IPC report, are in Category 5, meaning that they are facing starvation. Ten million people don’t know where to find their next meal, and as so often is the case, women and girls find themselves in a particularly vulnerable situation…Women eat last and least.”

Speaking on behalf of second co-host Switzerland, Vice-President Simonetta Sommaruga confirmed that the Confederation’s near $15 million contribution for 2019 would focus on the protection of civilians and sustainable support for Yemen:

“Our strategy for co-operation, which covers four years, is up to 54 million francs in total,” she said. “In Yemen, Switzerland is focusing on the areas where it has particular expertise such as the water sector, protection of the civilian population and food security.”

Referring to the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement signed between the Yemeni Government and Houthi opposition in December, Mr. Guterres acknowledged that significant challenges remained in implementing a withdrawal from the key Red Sea port of Hudaydah.

“We had an important moment in Stockholm, in which it was possible to agree on a ceasefire in Hodeida and a number of other aspects,” he said. “We know that there is a hope for the end of the conflict, but we know that we are also facing many obstacles in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement.”

Mr. Guterres also rejected suggestions that the UN was ignoring human rights concerns in Yemen while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE “and other countries”, provided military support for the Government of Yemen: “We are not disregarding the war that exists and the fact that a number of countries, not only the one that you mentioned, have had direct impact on that war,” he said.

“Obviously, what we want is to end the war and to end all the consequences of the war: the people that are killed, the people that suffer from all other kind of impacts. Independently of that, today we had the pledging conference to address humanitarian needs.”

The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen requires $4 billion to reach 21.4 million people who are barely surviving. More than half of the funding is destined for emergency food aid for 12 million people – a 50 per cent increase compared to last year.                  

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

MEPs adopt revised rules for road haulage operations in another EU country

MEPs condemn attacks on civilians, including children, in Yemen

Myanmar military leaders must face genocide charges – UN report

Is a deal over EU budget possible today?

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

The EU Commission predicts a decimated growth in the next years

Saudi woman seeking asylum in Thailand ‘now in a secure place’ says UNHCR

West Bank: ‘imminent’ demolition of Palestinian village could be ‘war crime’ – ICC Prosecutor

Energy: new ambitious targets on renewables and energy efficiency

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

Is the ECB enforcing the will of the big Eurozone member states on the small? Can the euro area live with that?

These technologies are playing a major role at the Cricket World Cup

Celebrating the Customs Union: the world’s largest trading bloc turns 50

Commission sets moderate greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030

‘Catastrophic’ healthcare costs put mothers and newborns at risk

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

Five years down the drain

EU budget: Stepping up the EU’s role as a security and defence provider

These are the countries best prepared for the fight against cancer

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

Help African farmers cope with climate change threats, UN food agency urges

Jade Spring Meeting 2017 – day 2: Coporate workshops, general assembly and magna moment

Why feeding the planet doesn’t have to mean sacrificing our forests

Tsipras imposes more austerity on insolvent Greece; plans to win new early election soon

Human rights are ‘key’ for economic policymaking says UN expert

Ahead of UN summit, leading scientists warn climate change ‘hitting harder and sooner’ than forecast

Infinite Oath

EU Commission and ECB rebuff Germany on the Banking Union

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Women boost work profits, saving biodiversity, UK loses Chagos Islands vote, Gaza funding, malaria-free in Argentina, Algeria

OECD presents revised Codes on capital flows to G20

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

5 key themes for reforming the EU, as elections loom

Has the treacherous theory about the ‘French patient’ finally prevailed?

We don’t need to ban plastic. We just need to start using it properly

The Future of Balkans: Embracing Education

EU and Amazon cut deal to end antitrust investigation over e-books deals

Migration crisis update: The “Habsburg Empire” comes back to life while EU loses control

UN expresses concern following wave of street protests in Iraq and elsewhere

IMAGINATION, FACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES – THE UNLIMITED POWER OF CHINA

ECB tied in the anti-monetary German ideology

Yesterday’s “jokes” and sarcasm by Digital Single Market’s Vice President Ansip on EU member states’ right to protect their telco markets

Assault on key Yemeni port would endanger 300,000 children and ‘choke off’ aid for millions more: UNICEF chief

Botswana has decriminalized gay sex. But, it’s still illegal in 70 countries

EU Justice Scoreboard 2018: justice systems’ key role in upholding the rule of law and EU values

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

High internet taxes are restricting access and slowing economic growth

“Austerity was not the alternative!”, President Hannes Swoboda of the European Socialists and Democrats on another Sting Exclusive

A day in the life of a refugee: the wait

LGBTQI+ and medicine, in the Land of the Pure

Is technology key to improving global health and education, or just an expensive distraction?

Parliament approves €104.2m in EU aid to Greece, Spain, France and Portugal

Time to measure up: 5 ways the fashion industry can be made more sustainable

Cybersecurity needs a holistic approach. Here are three ways to build protection

Venezuelans brave torrential border river, face exploitation, abuse – UN urges greater protection

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

Let your fingers do the walking

The vehicles of our future

6 charts that show how Japan’s economy stacks up as it enters a new era

UN Security Council hails ‘courage’ of Afghan voters

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s