STORY: Yemen Humanitarian Appeal 2023 – OCHA
TRT: 1 mins 59s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 27 February 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
UN seeks $4.3 billion to help 17.3 million most vulnerable Yemenis
The UN's Emergency Relief Chief Martin Griffiths appealed on Monday for $4.3 billion to assist 17.3 million of Yemen’s most vulnerable people, after years of grinding war and economic hardship.
Speaking in Geneva ahead of the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, Mr. Griffiths highlighted how Yemen continues to teeter on the brink of catastrophic food insecurity, with two in three people in need of help.
“By any standards, it's enormously important,” he said. “We're looking at 21 - more than - 21.7 million people this year in Yemen in need of humanitarian assistance. And of those we're targeting in this humanitarian response plan, about 17 million.”
Mr. Griffiths urged support for the appeal, co-hosted by Switzerland and Sweden: “Last year, the 2022 plan, we received, thanks to the generosity of governments like those here and others, over $2.2 billion on a $4.3 billion budget. Again, we're looking for about the same amount this year: $4.3 billion.”
Although UN aid coordination office OCHA said that Yemen was not experiencing "full-scale military offensives”, no formal peace has been declared either, after fighting escalated in 2015, between the Government and opposition forces that control the capital, Sana’a.
And despite the improved security situation brought about by the truce from 2 April to 2 October last year that led to a 76 per drop in conflict-related displacement, victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war increased by 160 per cent, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“I think it is crucial that we maintain our support for Yemen in particular at this point in time and to also reach the people that we have not reached, for example before the truce,” said Andrea Studer, Assistant Director General, Head of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) - Europe Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.
The need for safe aid access throughout Yemen remains crucial for communities struggling to feed themselves, find work and resist flooding linked to the climate crisis.
According to OCHA, an estimated 5.4 million—25 per cent—of the people in need across Yemen are affected by aid access constraints. These are most numerous in northwest Yemen, where they are largely bureaucratic impediments, the UN office said. It noted with concern, too, that carjackings, kidnappings and other violence are on the increase, particularly across areas primarily under the control of the internationally recognized Government of Yemen.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to refrain from obstructing, restricting or interfering in humanitarian operations and we ask specifically for female aid workers to be allowed to access women and girls in need,” Ms. Studer said.
Today, in the absence of a comprehensive political settlement, continued displacement, the economic situation, and lack of capacity of state institutions, are likely to remain a key driver of needs, OCHA warned.
One of the biggest challenges is displacement estimated at 4.5 million people, or 14 per cent of the population.
“In the last year, humanitarian efforts have managed to improve the hunger situation for two million Yemenis, averting famine,” said Carl Skau, Deputy Director-General, Head of Department for Multilateral Partnerships, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden. “And this, despite the global food security impact of the Russian aggression. At the same time, we also know that there needs to be an improved humanitarian operating environment, so that assistance is even more effective, that we can do more with each dollar.”
In 2022, humanitarian partners in Yemen delivered lifesaving assistance to nearly 11 million vulnerable people every month.
Monday's High-Level Pledging event seeks this year to support four priority areas: raise awareness of Yemen’s severe humanitarian crisis; expand the limited improvements made in 2022; mobilize support to address underlying drivers of human needs; call for an end to the conflict.