While global attention may be focused on other crises, the international community cannot turn a blind eye to the humanitarian tragedy in Yemen in 2017. The 20 months long armed conflict in the country has now killed more than 10 000 people, with civilians paying the highest price.
The EU is committed to helping the most vulnerable in need and not to let Yemen become a ‘forgotten crisis’.
The conflict has meant large-scale destruction of basic infrastructure, and the de facto blockade imposed on the country has resulted in a collapsing economy and a financial crisis which severely limits food, medicine and fuel imports, leading to widespread food insecurity and malnutrition.
The EU has already made available €120 million in humanitarian funding since the beginning of the conflict in 2015, €70 million of which in 2016. As the needs continue to rise I call on the international community to scale up support to cover humanitarian needs in Yemen.
In the name of humanity, all parties to the conflict must facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance into and within the country, to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people and to enable humanitarian organisations to respond to the soaring and unprecedented needs.
I also call on all parties to the conflict to lift the de facto embargo on Yemen to allow for basic commodities to enter the country and to resume medical evacuations.
The EU reiterates its full support to ongoing efforts by UN Special Envoy Cheikh Ahmed to obtain a cessation of hostilities and a sustainable peace agreement.
More than 14 million people, over half the population, are currently in need of food, safe drinking water and sanitation. Seven million of them are on the brink of starvation. Two million children are suffering from malnutrition, and without any treatment 462 000 of them may die in the coming months.
Due to the collapsing health system and the lack of access to water and sanitation, a cholera epidemic is spreading throughout the country. At the beginning of December 2016, over 9 000 suspected cases were reported across 15 governorates, with 89 associated deaths.