Yemen Conference 2023: Speech by Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

27.02.2023 - Speech

Over 400,000 boys and girls going to bed hungry every night, threatened by acute malnutrition.

15 million people with no reliable access to water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.

Over 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance to survive.

These are shocking figures from Yemen, where one of the most horrible humanitarian crises of our time has been raging for the last eight years.

Every figure stands for the pain of a woman, a man, and especially a child.

In the face of such suffering, we as the international community have a responsibility to act.

That’s why today Germany pledges another 120 million euro in aid to Yemen. This adds to the roughly 1.4 billion euro which Germany has provided during the last four years to help the people in Yemen.

Our humanitarian support goes hand in hand with our development cooperation and our efforts to achieve peace – with one goal we all share: ending the suffering of the men, women and children in Yemen.

And we urge everyone here at this table to contribute.

To achieve this goal, two points are crucial:

First, humanitarian actors must be able to reach the people in need – every single person.

However, in northern Yemen women’s faces are being scratched from advertising posters, Houthi rebels are denying women access to universities, women are being prevented from doing humanitarian work, and the conditions for delivering aid are reaching a new low.

That is unacceptable. Our assistance is tied to clear humanitarian principles. If these principles are not met, if the de facto authorities in the north push women and girls out of public life and then cut them off from life-saving support – we, as the EU Commissioner has said – cannot support these measures.

My second point is this: the suffering of people in Yemen will only end once this conflict ends.

That is why Germany fully supports the efforts of Special Envoy Hans Grundberg to find a comprehensive political solution.

The first step towards this is a stable ceasefire. We welcome the direct contacts between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis and their endeavours to come to an understanding in this regard.

But to achieve lasting peace, we need the commitment of all actors involved. A durable solution needs to include a fair distribution of resources and power between the different parties and regions. And this solution must be mediated by the UN.

Ladies and gentlemen.

It falls on us, on all of you to act.

For the 400,000 boys and girls in Yemen going to bed hungry every night.

For the millions of women and men living in pain every day.

They all deserve what every human being seeks:

A life in safety, a life in peace, a life in dignity.


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