UN calls for $1.8bn to fund aid plan for Yemen

19 Feb 16

The United Nations has appealed for $1.8bn in aid for Yemen to provide humanitarian support for 13.6 million people in the country affected by its civil war.

Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, before the conflict


The funds will go towards a 2016 response plan put together by over 100 aid organisations working in the country, where four out of five Yemenis – 21.2 million people in total – are in need of humanitarian assistance, public services have collapsed and conflict is unrelenting.

Jamie Goldrick, the humanitarian coordinator in the country for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said Yemen’s plight has been overshadowed by other conflicts in the region. A 2015 appeal that hoped to raise $1.6bn was only 56% funded, receiving $892m.

“We cannot afford to let Yemen become a forgotten crisis,” he stressed. “Violence has taken a dreadful toll among civilians and exhausted the population.

“Many Yemenis continue to face threats to their lives and dignity. The warring parties need to live up to their responsibilities under international humanitarian law. Even war has limits.”

Yesterday the UN Security Council called on all parties to the conflict to take urgent steps towards resuming a ceasefire that was organised last December in order to conduct peace talks. However the agreement was repeatedly broken and peace talks fell apart.

The conflict began during the Arab Spring in 2011 but escalated last March when a coalition led by Saudi Arabia began a bombing campaign against the Houthi rebels, who oppose the internationally recognised president Adb Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia have been repeatedly accused of the indiscriminate killing and even targeting of civilians, and countries like the UK have been criticised for selling almost £3bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in 2015 alone which were then used in the bombing campaign.

The conflict has taken a heavy toll on Yemen, already the Middle East’s poorest country, and desperately needed humanitarian aid has been frequently disrupted by the fighting and blocked by sieges.

“All parties to the conflict must do more to guarantee safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need, wherever they may be across Yemen,” said Goldrick.

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