Today, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley announced a US$32 million contribution from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support critical services to enable the scale-up of the life-saving humanitarian response in Yemen.
The CERF allocation will allow WFP to ramp up humanitarian logistical operations, including increases in humanitarian air cargo, transport more humanitarian workers, provide more accommodation spaces, including in Hodeida, and expand emergency telecommunications. This will support the work of UN agencies as well as NGOs engaged in the humanitarian relief operation.
“The World Food Programme is scaling up to increase its assistance from 8 million people a month to 12 million a month and this contribution will help make that happen,” Beasley said.
“To avert the worst in Yemen, all parties to the conflict must facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need,” said Lowcock.
Beasley and Lowcock also welcomed recent decisions in Sanaa to provide more visas for humanitarian workers, to investigate allegations of theft of food aid and punish those responsible, to ban the sale of food aid intended for Yemenis with no income and to put in place more effective targeting and monitoring systems.
In 2018, the CERF provided $50 million to the humanitarian response in Yemen. For 2019, the UN-coordinated Humanitarian Response Plan is expected to require some $4 billion to provide assistance and protection to more than 24 million people.
The conflict that is now entering its fourth year has devastated the country. The human impact of the conflict can hardly be overstated. Over the past six weeks, it has become even worse as a deep, rapidly unfolding economic crisis has gripped the country. If a famine takes hold in Yemen, it will be “much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives,” UN humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, warned the UN Security Council in October.
A massive logistic effort continues to bring relief to millions of Yemenis in dire need of food and shelter. The magnitude of the relief operation is striking: about 8 million people across the country receive direct assistance from the UN and partners every month. Managing such a large operation requires care to ensure that aid is reaching the people who need it, and funding to be able to sustain and boost such efforts.