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Statement by Oxfam, Save the Children International, CARE International, International Refugee Committee and Norwegian Refugee Council on the Yemen pledging conference in Geneva:
Today, governments took a step to alleviate the suffering of millions of people who are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, by pledging 2.6 billion dollars so far. It’s a long way from the 4.2 billion US dollars that are needed to support an estimated 24 million people in Yemen - almost 80% of the population - who need humanitarian assistance in 2019, many of whom are hovering on the brink of famine.
We welcome the support for humanitarian efforts which are ensuring that Yemeni people have access to food, clean water, education and adequate health care, as well as treating women and children for malnourishment and helping them cope with the enormous stresses they face daily. We are ready to scale up our activities in Yemen and depend on donors for continued funding.
Yet financial support is not enough. We desperately need commitments from some of the very same countries present today to allow unconditional access for humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to all parts of the country. We want to hear world leaders promise to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, and to hold to account those who disregard international law.
The countries selling arms to warring parties in Yemen need to stop these deals with immediate effect and put in place strong monitoring and accountability mechanisms, so that devastating weapons will no longer kill and injure civilians in Yemen. Arms must stop flowing into Yemen and political negotiations need to be supported by all involved in this conflict.
We need to see a countrywide ceasefire, protection of humanitarian workers and an inclusive peace agreement. Only an end to hostilities can truly end the suffering of the Yemeni people. They do not have the luxury to wait for peace any longer – they are dying every single day this war continues.