Countries pledge more than $2bn in humanitarian aid to Yemen

5 Apr 18

Donor countries have pledged more than $2bn in humanitarian aid in response to the “worst manmade humanitarian crisis” in Yemen, at a pledging event in Geneva on Tuesday.  

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates both promised to give $500m each, making up almost half of the total pledges made by 40 donor countries.

Kuwait will give $250m while the UK announced it would give nearly $240m. The European Commission pledged to provide $133m in humanitarian aid.

“This pledging conference represents a remarkable success of international solidarity to the people of Yemen,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

He said: “Humanitarian resources are very important, but they are not enough.

“We need unrestricted access everywhere inside Yemen and we need all the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law, and to protect civilians.

“Above all, we need a serious political process to lead to a political solution.”

In 2018, the UN launched an international appeal for $2.96bn to provide assistance and protection to people in Yemen.

The event was organised by the United Nation and the governments of Sweden and Switzerland.

Yemen has been under armed conflicts for nearly three years and is facing what the UN calls “the worst manmade humanitarian crisis in the world”

Nearly 75% of the population, or 22.2 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance. This is 3.4 million more than last year.

Speaking in Geneva, Oxfam’s country director in Yemen Shane Stevenson said: “The millions pledged today will provide a crucial short-term lifeline to prevent Yemenis from slipping from crisis into catastrophe.

“Lives will be saved if the ports are fully open, goods are allowed to flow through the country and aid reaches where it is desperately needed.”

The US also pledged $87m, Germany $40.7m, Japan $38.8m and Sweden $26.5m.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia handed Yemen nearly $2bn to its central bank following the Yemeni prime minister’s appeal for help.

The Saudi funds came as the coalition was criticised for imposing a blockade on Yemen’s ports, including aid, land and sea ports, to stop the smuggling of weapons to Iranian-backed Houthi rebel-controlled areas.

Aid agencies, such as the UN and Red Cross, and governments from around the world have urged the Saudi-led coalition to re-open the ‘aid lifeline’ to bring imported food and medicine into the country.

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