Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on 3 July concerning humanitarian assistance in Yemen:
In the light of the dramatic humanitarian situation, a humanitarian emergency has been declared in Yemen. The scale of the human suffering is scarcely imaginable. Extreme poverty, conflicts, waves of refugees, famine, water and fuel shortages, as well as thousands of cases of dengue fever and other diseases – all of these are facets of one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises. Some 21 million people, 80 per cent of the population, are in desperate need of support from the international community.
The Federal Foreign Office has decided to provide an additional one million euros to help people in need in Yemen. The funds will be put to use by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The support made available by the Federal Foreign Office thus already amounts to 5.8 million euros this year alone.
The urgent task now is to ensure humanitarian access in all parts of the country so that the aid reaches those who need it. In the light of the humanitarian emergency, I call on all parties to the conflict to agree without delay to the humanitarian ceasefire demanded by the United Nations and to strictly observe it. The conflict should not be waged at the expense of population. The humanitarian assistance must reach all of those suffering and aid workers and supplies must not be blocked.
The United Nations declared a humanitarian emergency in Yemen this week. The country is now among those states, alongside Iraq, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Syria, in which the highest level of emergency has been reached. Both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien have repeatedly called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen. Since 2014, the support supplied by the Federal Foreign Office for Yemen has amounted to just under 12 million euros. In cooperation with UN organisations, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movements and NGOs, the German Government is focusing its humanitarian assistance in Yemen on medical care and the distribution of vital relief supplies.