Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, T.D., today pledged a further €5 million in humanitarian assistance from Ireland for the crisis in Yemen. Minister Coveney made the pledge at the 2021 High‑Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, convened by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland.
Minister Coveney said:
“The alarm bells have never been ringing as loudly in Yemen as they are today. The UN system has been warning clearly of the risk of famine – that the country is speeding toward it. The World Food Programme tells us there are 350,000 Yemenis on the verge of famine, and as many as five million people in places threatened by famine.
“It is essential that the world responds to provide humanitarian assistance to a people who are facing multiple threats to their wellbeing – from conflict, disease, flooding, a collapsed economy, and hunger.”
In announcing Ireland’s pledge of €5 million to the UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Fund, the Minister stated:
“Yemen is home to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. While the search for a political solution continues, we cannot lose time in addressing the devastating consequences of the conflict for the 24 million people in urgent need of assistance.”
Minister Coveney also paid tribute to humanitarian workers in Yemen, recalling the tragic deaths of four staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at Aden airport in late December. He called for all parties to the conflict to respect international law.
1 March 2021
Notes to Editors:
- The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world, with more than 20 million people in need of assistance and protection. Years of conflict, economic decline, and institutional collapse have created enormous needs in all sectors. The risk of large-scale famine has never been more acute. At the same time, Yemen continues to grapple with the effects of epidemic disease, notably cholera and COVID-19, forced displacement, and a range of other challenges.
- The Yemen Humanitarian Fund, managed by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, allows donors to efficiently contribute to the UN-led humanitarian response to the crisis in Yemen. Nearly 200 aid agencies are working together through the UN’s response plan to provide life-saving assistance to more than 10 million people across the country every month.
- These programmes are saving lives and can prevent famine – we know because they already have. Two years ago, a massive scale-up of international aid prevented a large-scale famine and rolled back the world’s biggest cholera outbreak. Ireland is playing its part to ensure that the international community acts on the same scale again.
- Ireland has provided direct funding of over €28 million to the Yemen crisis since 2012. The additional funding pledged today will bring Ireland’s support since 2012 to a minimum of €33 million.
- Ireland’s policy for international development, A Better World, outlines Ireland’s vision of a more equal, peaceful, and sustainable world. It charts a clear way forward to achieve this vision, shaping and protecting our stability, our prosperity, our shared interests, and our common future. It commits Ireland to reducing humanitarian need by anticipating and responding to crises to protect the most vulnerable and those at risk.