Sanaa, April 21, 2017. Ahead of the ‘High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen’ in Geneva on 25 April, CARE asks international governments to urgently scale up financial support for millions of people on the brink of famine in Yemen. As of today, only 15.2% of the two billion euros required to meet the urgent needs of millions of Yemenis have been committed. After more than two years of war, nearly 19 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance. “We cannot continue to watch how an entire country is about to collapse, and hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of dying without assistance,” says Wael Ibrahim, CARE Yemen’s Country Director. Every ten minutes a child is dying from preventable causes in Yemen, with child mortality rates having increased by 20 percent since March 2015. “Imagine the entire populations of Sweden and Switzerland requiring emergency aid. That’s about the dimension of the Yemen conflict we face today.”
“Donors meeting in Geneva on Tuesday know that the time to act is now. Yemen is on the brink, not just of famine, but of a total collapse of its remaining basic services”, continues Ibrahim. More than half of the health facilities have closed down or are now just partially functioning, leaving 14 million people, particularly pregnant women and lactating mothers without crucial health care. Lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities have furthermore contributed to a cholera outbreak last year.
CARE is calling on donors to ensure parties to the conflict allow humanitarian access and facilitate aid. “We need free and unfettered access to all of Yemen’s ports allowing increased access of humanitarian aid and commercial supplies. There must be an end to the destruction of vital infrastructure such as roads and hospitals”, says Ibrahim. CARE is particularly concerned about Yemen’s largest seaport Hodeida, which formerly handled 70 to 80 percent of the country’s imports before the onset of the war in March 2015. “If the port closes, even temporarily, it will hasten the onset of famine, particularly with the ongoing closure of airspace and the lack of adequate alternative ports.”
“It is very clear that only a political solution can bring a complete end to the human suffering in Yemen. But donors have to commit funds on Tuesday and disburse them promptly, so millions of Yemenis receive urgently needed help to survive the next months,” Ibrahim urges.
Since the escalation of the conflict, CARE has already assisted over 1.3 million people with vital food and water. Together with local partner organizations, CARE has repaired water sources and installed new water tanks that help to shorten the distance to water points for women and girls. In addition, CARE encourages women and girls, who are greatly affected by the conflict through training and economic empowerment programs.
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