Friday, 20 July 2018

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Donor conference doubles international commitment for war-torn Yemen

Yemen pledging conference humanitarian aid photo UNOCHA

3.4.2018 – Pledges announced today at the United Nations pledging conference for Yemen, co-hosted by Sweden and Switzerland, represent more than $2 billion. Compared to last year’s conference, where $ 1,1 billion was reached, the commitments have nearly doubled.

“It is my pleasure to announce that this Pledging Conference represents a remarkable success of international solidarity to the people of Yemen”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the press conference following the event. “We are quite optimistic that we will be able to reach the level that corresponds to the needs detected in relation to the tragedy that the Yemeni people is facing.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres asked donors for $2.6 billion in humanitarian aid for war-torn Yemen, while calling for a "political solution" to truly end the suffering of the Yemeni people.

“Because there was never a humanitarian solution for any humanitarian crisis.  The solution has always been political. And also in Yemen what we need is a political solution for this Pledging Conferences not to be repeated in the future,”, he said.

The European Union promised $132 million for the war-torn country. "To save lives on the ground, all parties to the conflict must ensure safe, unhindered and continuous humanitarian access to all affected communities in Yemen," Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management, said.

After three years of conflict, 22.2 million out of 27 million Yemenis need humanitarian help. The situation for children remains particularly bad, with half of them malnourished, two million absent from school and others facing the threat of being made to fight. 

Describing the situation as "catastrophic," Guterres said that although the UN had contained the cholera epidemic and helped avert famine, there was no room for donor "complacency."

So far in 2018, and prior to the Geneva conference, donors have contributed $303 million in humanitarian aid for Yemen. Nearly half of the funds came from the United States, with a contribution of $138 million, followed by an anonymous/ unspecified donor of $51 million, and third on the list, was Germany with $39.5 million.

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