A civil war has been raging in Yemen for the last six years. The humanitarian situation is disastrous. Eighty percent of the population, or around 24 million people, rely on humanitarian assistance and protection.
The situation is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing economic and currency crisis, as well as by increasing hostilities in many parts of the country. The humanitarian relief organisations lack sufficient financial support for providing the help that is needed. Moreover, humanitarian aid workers are often barely able to reach those in need as they are prevented from doing so by the parties to the conflict.
Against the backdrop of the acute risk of a nationwide famine, Germany has now provided the World Food Programme (WFP), which is playing an important role in helping to feed the suffering population, with 49.5 million euro. These funds are being provided earlier than the regular allocation of humanitarian assistance funds to other organisations this year. With this support, the people in Yemen can now be helped without delay. Foreign Minister Maas said the following with respect to the provision of funds:
The situation in Yemen is code red. People in the crisis-stricken country lack everything. Every minute we do not act will cost more lives. We cannot and will not accept this.
Germany had previously contributed 10.5 million euro to the WFP in order to help facilitate the organisation’s planning. The Federal Foreign Office has thus supported the WFP’s important work in Yemen in 2021 with 60 million euro to date. As the second-largest bilateral humanitarian donor to Yemen, the Federal Government is also lobbying other countries to lend their financial support to this international aid, for example in dialogue with wealthy countries in Yemen’s immediate neighbourhood.
Yemen will continue to be a focus of German humanitarian assistance in 2021. Germany also supports the efforts of the United Nations and its Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths to resolve the conflict. Foreign Minister Maas had the following to say in this regard:
In the long term, peace is the only way to end the humanitarian suffering of the people. We therefore call on all parties involved to finally engage constructively in getting a political process off the ground. We will not tire in supporting UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in his efforts to achieve this.