Further support to the severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen
Press release22 December 2017
Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Minister Cannon announce further support
to the severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr. Ciarán Cannon, T.D., today announced additional Irish funding of €500,000 towards the humanitarian response in Yemen, now the world's largest crisis, with over 20 million people in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.
This new funding is in addition to €750,000 provided last month and brings Ireland’s total direct humanitarian support to the crisis in Yemen to over €5.3 million this year, and nearly €12.5 million since 2012. In addition, Ireland is the eighth largest donor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has allocated USD $25.6 million to Yemen in 2017.
Ireland provides this support through the UN-managed Yemen Humanitarian Fund, an approach which allows for the most urgent needs to be met quickly, be they for food, shelter, health or protection for the most vulnerable.
Announcing the funding, the Tánaiste said:
“The scale and severity of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is overwhelming, and the suffering of the Yemeni people is increasing every day. A staggering 22.2 million people, or 76% of the population, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, an increase of 1.5 million people since June 2017 alone. The UN has warned that Yemen is now the world’s largest man-made humanitarian crisis, with 17.8 million people food insecure and 8.4 million people at risk of starvation.
Basic public services are on the brink of collapse, and the cholera outbreak is of an unprecedented scale. Over 3 million people have fled from their homes, and more than 11 million people are in need of protection, facing serious risks to their safety, well-being and basic rights.
Following the launch of a missile from Yemen towards Riyadh on 4 November, the Saudi-led coalition imposed restrictions on humanitarian access in Yemen. Ireland unreservedly condemns missile attacks which endanger civilian lives, including the attack on 13 December. Ireland has also consistently highlighted, in bilateral contacts and at EU level, that humanitarian and commercial access to Yemen is necessary to avoid tragedy on an appalling scale. At the Foreign Affairs Council on 11 December, I myself urged stronger EU action in this area, and I am personally committed to following this issue closely.”
Minister of State Cannon added:
“The humanitarian needs in Yemen continue to exceed available funding, with the UN Humanitarian Response Plan 61% funded. Ireland remains committed to responding where needs are greatest, and we have consistently provided humanitarian support to the people of Yemen. We will continue to do so in 2018.”
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 www.irishaid.ie.
- 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.
- The UN 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.
- Ireland has consistently contributed to the humanitarian response in Yemen. Today’s allocation brings Ireland’s total direct humanitarian support to the crisis in Yemen to over €5.3 million this year, and nearly €12.5 million since 2012. In addition, Ireland is the eighth largest donor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has allocated USD $ 25.6 million to Yemen this year.
- The situation for the Yemeni people will only improve permanently with peaceful resolution of the conflict. Ireland supports the efforts of UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and his team, who are working towards a peace agreement that is acceptable to all parties to the conflict.
- Ireland will also continue to support efforts to investigate alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and to hold those found guilty of such violations accountable for their actions. At the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017, Ireland was part of a core group of countries that drove forward the adoption of a Resolution on Yemen. This Resolution establishes a group of international experts, who will examine the facts in relation to violations of human rights and humanitarian law on the ground. This group will report back to the Human Rights Council, as an important step towards accountability in Yemen.
- The situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate rapidly. According to the UN, 22.2 million people, or 76% of the population, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. 17.8 million people are currently food insecure, and this is expected to worsen - the UN has warned that 8.4 million people are at risk of famine. Over three million people have been forced to flee from their homes. Critical basic public services in health, water and sanitation, and education, are on the brink of collapse, with 16 million people lacking access to safe water and sanitation and 16.4 million with no access to adequate healthcare. About 11.3 million people are in need of protection, facing serious risks to their safety, well-being and basic rights.