The situation in Yemen is becoming increasingly precarious. At the invitation of the United Nations, Switzerland and Sweden, a donor conference took place in Geneva yesterday.
The aim of the conference was to mobilise more international humanitarian assistance and to draw attention to the dramatic situation in Yemen. Germany’s representative at the conference, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, Bärbel Kofler, said at the outset: “In view of the looming food crisis in Yemen and the humanitarian situation, which has been rapidly deteriorating ever since the start of the war two years ago, this donor conference is taking place at the right time!”
Hundreds of thousands of children malnourished
Yemen is currently the site of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Since the start of the conflict in March 2015, just under two million Yemenites have been displaced and are living in precarious conditions in collective accommodation centres. Some 18.8 million people – of which 9.6 million are children – are dependent on humanitarian assistance. The country is facing a disastrous famine. Around 460,000 children are already severely malnourished, while 17 million Yemenites are affected by food insecurity. Some 4.5 million people urgently need help to prevent or treat severe malnourishment. As food and medicine are either virtually impossible to find or extremely expensive, the alarming number of people suffering malnourishment is continuing to grow. However, the humanitarian appeal issued by the United Nations for Yemen has produced a mere 15 percent of the funding required so far.
100 million euros from Germany
At the donor conference, Bärbel Kofler announced Germany’s intention to make a substantial contribution towards the urgently needed humanitarian assistance as well as funding for long‑term development cooperation in Yemen. She went on to say that 50 million euros would be made available for humanitarian assistance in Yemen in 2017 as well as 55 million euros for development cooperation. The strategic focuses of Germany’s humanitarian assistance in Yemen are food, health care, water supply, sanitation and hygiene, as well as protective measures. The project funding will be based on the “whole‑of‑Yemen” approach and prioritise regions with a large share of internally displaced persons, as well as neighbouring countries which have taken in refugees from Yemen.