Foreign Minister Maas on the increase in food assistance for Yemen

22.01.2021 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (21 January) on the early provision and increase in Germany’s contribution to the World Food Programme’s humanitarian food assistance in Yemen:

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.

In view of the dramatic situation, we have decided to contribute another almost 50 million euro to the World Food Programme with immediate effect at this difficult time. This brings the German contribution to 60 million euro for World Food Programme projects in Yemen this year.

We stand by our responsibility in Yemen as the world’s second-largest bilateral donor of humanitarian assistance. We appeal to all international donors – especially the countries in Yemen's immediate neighbourhood – to do likewise. It is not too late to avert a devastating famine, but everyone must act now.

Above all, the Yemeni parties to the conflict must now commit to a ceasefire. 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 continue supporting UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in his efforts to achieve this.

Background information:

A civil war has been raging in Yemen for the last six years. The humanitarian situation is disastrous. Some 80 percent of the population (24 million people) rely on humanitarian assistance and protection. In view of the acute risk of widespread famine, Germany has now made an additional 49.5 million euro available to the World Food Programme (WFP). These funds are being provided on a priority basis and earlier than the regular allocation of humanitarian assistance funds to other organisations this year. This brings Germany’s contribution to 60 million euro for World Food Programme projects in Yemen this year. In 2020, the Federal Foreign Office has provided 126.5 million euro for humanitarian assistance in Yemen. Yemen will continue to be a focus of German humanitarian assistance in 2021.

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