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Minister of State McHugh attends High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen


Minister of State McHugh attends High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen


-          Ireland pledges at least €4 million to Yemen in 2017


Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D., will today (Tuesday) pledge at least €4 million in humanitarian funding for 2017 to the crisis in Yemen. The Minister will represent Ireland at a High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen to be held in Geneva and the pledge will bring Ireland’s humanitarian support to Yemen to over €11 million since 2012.

Minister McHugh said today:

  • ‘I am attending the pledging event today as a mark of the solidarity of the people of Ireland with the people of Yemen.  The Yemen conflict is a reflection of wider tensions in the region, but it is the Yemeni people who are suffering.  The humanitarian situation in the country is deteriorating by the day.  The Irish Government has consistently and repeatedly made clear our concerns regarding the humanitarian situation, which we have raised with counterparts in the region, along with our concerns at the high number of civilian casualties.  I urge the international community to work towards finding an end to the conflict and the enormous suffering it has caused.’

The Minister went on to say:

  • ‘The UN has warned that there is a real risk of famine in Yemen.  There are also millions in need of healthcare and other humanitarian assistance.  We cannot afford to stand by and let this downward spiral continue.  I urge all parties to this conflict, as well as those with influence in the region, to accept the UN Special Envoy’s invitation to return to the negotiating table for a peace settlement.”


The high-level event, convened by Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres and the Foreign Affairs Ministers for both Sweden and the Swiss Confederation, aims to galvanize financial and political support in response to the rapidly deteriorating situation and threat of famine in Yemen. 

Yemen is now one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world.  With a population of some 26 million, food insecurity continues to intensify.  Over 14 million people are currently food insecure, with the majority being severely so.  At least 2 million are in a critical condition and on the brink of famine.  The high number of attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure has been of particular concern in this conflict, and has compounded the dire humanitarian situation. It is now over two years since Yemen’s civil war began in earnest and the conflict shows no sign of abating.  



Press Office

25 April 2017


Notes to the editor:

-          Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme.  It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information visit


-          Ireland’s Humanitarian Assistance Policy outlines how Irish Aid saves and protects lives, alleviates suffering and maintains human dignity before, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises.


-          Since 2012, Ireland has provided €7.1 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.  Funding of a further €4 million will soon be distributed to the UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Pooled Fund (YHPF), bringing Ireland’s total humanitarian funding to Yemen since 2012 to over €11 million.


-          The OCHA Humanitarian Pooled Funds allocate funding in-country to a broad range of partners, including UN organisations, and national and international NGOs.  The Pooled Funds form part of the Humanitarian Response Plan for each country and the funding is allocated to meet critical humanitarian needs ranging from food assistance to protection to livelihoods support.


-          The United Nations and the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland are hosting the one day high-level pledging event for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen on 25th April 2017.  The event is intended to galvanize financial and political support in response to the rapidly deteriorating situation and the threat of famine.  This is the first pledging conference for Yemen.


-          It is now over two years since Yemen’s civil war began in earnest, and the conflict shows no sign of abating.  The UN-led political process has almost completely stagnated and, despite conclusions by the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen that an outright military victory by either side is no longer a realistic possibility, fighting continues with increasingly devastating consequences for the civilian population, but very little to show in terms of military gains.  In particular, allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and the law of war abound, with reports of both sides hitting civilian targets and using prohibited weapons.  Meanwhile, terrorist organisations have exploited the chaos and instability, and have a significant presence in the south, posing a serious threat to security in Yemen, its neighbouring countries, and the wider world.