Berne, 8.5.2015 – In view of the rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Switzerland is making CHF 2 Million available to the Yemen Humanitarian Pooled Fund managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). At the same time it calls on all parties to respect their obligations under international law to ensure the protection of civilians, to engage in dialogue to seek a political solution to the conflict and to cease hostilities.
Switzerland is concerned about the ever-deteriorating political, humanitarian and economic situation in Yemen. It calls on all parties to respect their obligations under international law, to ensure the protection of civilians, to allow delivery and distribution of humanitarian relief and supplies and to seek a sustainable political solution through negotiation. Switzerland welcomes the appointment of the new UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in this regard.
Months of ongoing fighting and the consequent destruction of the transport infrastructure have led to a massive deterioration in the humanitarian situation.
To meet the population’s most urgent and acute humanitarian needs, Switzerland is making CHF 2 Million available to the Yemen Humanitarian Pooled Fund managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The fund is supporting emergency relief projects in the areas of healthcare, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and food aid. Switzerland’s overall budget for Yemen amounts to approximately CHF 8 million.
In Yemen, which is the poorest country in the Middle East, 15.9 million people – i.e. 60% of the population – need humanitarian assistance. The food security of 10.6 million has been undermined and 1.6 million are suffering from acute malnutrition, 850,000 of whom are children. Basic healthcare provision is insufficient. 13 million people have no access to clean water and in the course of the next decade Sana’a could become the first capital in the world to run out of water. In recent years, Yemen has taken in more than 250,000 refugees from the Horn of Africa. Armed conflicts have internally displaced over 300,000 people.
Switzerland has been active in Yemen since 2007. Its humanitarian programme currently focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene projects. Switzerland is working together with multilateral partners such as the ICRC, WFP, UNICEF and UNHCR, and carries out projects with bilateral partners such as Oxfam, Save the Children and Care. Switzerland has been a member of the “Friends of Yemen” – a group of nearly 40 countries and international organisations created to support the political transition process – since 2013. •
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