On 26 February, the United Nations and the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland convened the third High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. The event aimed to garner support for the humanitarian response in Yemen and alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
Donors pledged US$2.6 billion to ensure that humanitarian operations in Yemen can be sustained and scaled up at a time when humanitarian aid is the only lifeline for millions of Yemenis. This is an increase from last year's total pledges of US$2.01 billion, 100 per cent of which were fulfilled. Most donors (16 so far) have increased their pledges with significant increase from KSA, UAE, UK, EU, Germany and Canada.
Years of conflict, economic decline and institutional collapse have devastated Yemen. The human impact of the conflict can hardly be overstated. 24 million people – close to 80 per cent of the population ––need assistance and protection. Famine is threatening hundreds of thousands of lives and humanitarian aid is increasingly becoming the only lifeline for millions of Yemenis.
Access to income and basic services have been decimated by the complete breakdown of the national economy, leaving millions unable to afford food, medicine, clear water and other essentials.
Conflict remains the main driver as the worst hunger is concentrated in areas that saw the fiercest conflict last year. But despite the UN’s repeated call on all parties to facilitate access for humanitarians to reach people in need throughout Yemen, access is still elusive. The conflict particularly impacts women and children putting them at higher risk of sexual and gender-based violence.
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.