International community yet again falls short of meeting Yemen’s dire need

In response to the US$1.12 billion pledged to Yemen during the high-level event today in Geneva, Oxfam says the international community has fallen short in its support for the Yemeni people. Despite wide recognition of the dire level of need in the discussions, only about half of the US$2.1 billion UN appeal for Yemen was raised - which even if fully funded would only have met the basics needs of 12 million of the 18.8 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian aid. 

Isabelle Moussard Carlsen, Action contre la Faim's Operations Director, said: “Governments need to stop undermining the humanitarian response by fuelling the conflict with arms and violence. Starvation is not an acceptable strategy or consequence of the conflict. Donors must step up immediately and fully fund the Humanitarian Response Plan and actively engage with every stakeholder to facilitate the delivery of aid before Yemen reaches tipping point and we witness large scale starvation.”

Mutasim Hamdan, Yemen Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said:"The pledges made today mean the difference between life and death for millions of people. But donors are leaving Geneva without having committed enough funding to meet the needs of just the 12 million most vulnerable out of 19 million in need. I fail to grasp how the international community can see this crisis unfold without doing its outmost to limit the suffering that Yemenis are facing."

Shane Stevenson, Oxfam's Senior Program Manager for Yemen, said: “However much money has been pledged today, the best way to prevent famine in Yemen is for weapons to fall silent and for the parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table. Preventing famine must be the priority – not military gains. Diplomatic engagement is needed with all sides of the conflict and pressure must be applied immediately to suspend all military operations that block access or safe movement of food supplies."

Yemeni civil society activist, Nabil Al-Kumaim, ​said: "Ultimately, Yemen needs peace. The international community must engage with all parties to the conflict to address the root causes. There must be a political, not military, solution to this crisis. We need a comprehensive and nationwide cease-fire and an inclusive political process with meaningful participation of women, youth and other marginalized groups. The international community has a responsibility in seeing that this achieved."

Furthermore, Yemeni humanitarian Non Governmental Organizations who are delivering much-needed aid to those in need and who came to Geneva specially for the conference were not allowed a meaningful role in the high-level discussions.