The Commission will provide new funding of €70 million in Yemen, as the coronavirus threatens to worsen one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, where famine already looms. More than €40 million of this package will help prevent and respond to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “In this difficult time, the EU continues to stand by the most vulnerable in Yemen. The EU is delivering vital assistance such as food, nutrition, water, shelter and hygiene kits to millions of Yemenis affected by the crisis. To ensure aid reaches as many people as possible, all restrictions and interference violating the humanitarian principles have to be lifted.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “The many years of conflict in Yemen have resulted in a weakened health system and large parts of the population suffering from chronic malnourishment. The EU stands in solidarity with the Yemeni people. We have mobilised all development tools at our disposal to support the Yemeni health system in weathering this new crisis, and we will continue to support local institutions in providing much needed assistance to vulnerable populations across the country.”
To protect against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, EU partner organisations are implementing emergency plans and control measures, to reduce the expansion of the virus. EU assistance also supports the treatment of severely malnourished children.
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is caused by the ongoing conflict. It is urgent to find a political solution to end it. In this regard, the EU will continue supporting the UN-led efforts to resume peace talks and achieve sustainable peace in the country. It is fundamental that all parties to the conflict answer the UN Secretary-General’s call on those fighting to end hostilities.
Since the beginning of the conflict in 2015, the European Union has allocated €822 million to respond to the crisis in both humanitarian aid and development cooperation.
EU aid in Yemen is only channelled to organisations such as the United Nations agencies, NGOs and international organisations.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, preparedness and response to epidemics was already a key focus of the EU’s humanitarian strategy for Yemen. To address the cholera epidemic, the EU funds treatment centres and prevention activities. It also supports the emergency outbreak response in areas affected by measles and diphtheria.
Despite access constraints and security challenges, the EU’s humanitarian partners continue to help the population in active war fronts in the north and south of the country. Special attention is paid to those who have suffered bodily harm and psychological shock. Comprehensive rehabilitation services are provided to the injured and disabled people among the internally displaced population.
The EU supports the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS), which provide reliable air and sea transportation to humanitarian aid workers. Due to the coronavirus threat, the service is now partly banned from operating, putting additional pressure on the capacities of humanitarian partners.