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ERC appeals for continued commitment to Yemen

15 Mar 2022

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Nine-year-old Ayah Abdullah attends Al Zyadi School in Lahj governorate, Yemen. UNICEF also provided school supplies such as fans, desks and whiteboards. Credit: UNICEF

“Don’t stop now.” That was the plea issued today by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, during his briefing to the UN Security Council on the need for continued support for Yemen.

After more than seven years of war, Yemen is referred to as one of the gravest global humanitarian catastrophes and a chronic emergency. Hunger, disease and other miseries are continually rising, and the war in Ukraine could have a devastating effect for Yemenis, as a third of Yemen’s wheat comes from Russia and Ukraine.

Funding shortages have caused the closure of two thirds of major UN programmes and deep cuts to food aid, water and health care for millions of people. Mr. Griffiths implored the Security Council not to give in to the two dangers of Yemen’s chronic emergency: inertia and fatigue.

“The UN and its members must keep working together to help the millions of Yemenis who urgently need it and who deserve it,” he said. “They must show that being out of the headlines does not mean being left behind.”

Mr. Griffiths’ briefing comes a day ahead of the Yemen High-Level Pledging Conference, held in Geneva. Aid agencies are seeking almost US$4.3 billion to help more than 17 million people across Yemen this year, and the conference will be an opportunity for Member States to show their support.

“We will look for generous pledging tomorrow and prompt disbursement,” said Mr. Griffiths.

Read his full remarks to the UN Security Council here