Fighting Famine: EU Sends €40 million in Aid to Yemen

Written by | Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The European Union is going to send more humanitarian assistance to Yemen by providing €40 million to cover health care, water, nutrition and food supplies for the conflict-ridden country. The EU announced this decision yesterday (21 September) at the 71st United Nations General Assembly as it strives to address one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world.

Yemen has been stuck in an ongoing conflict that started in 2015 between two factions claiming to constitute the Yemeni government. The conflict has displaced more than four fifths of the country’s population and put many in need of assistance. Many, including children, are in danger of famine as the de facto blockade imposed on Yemen led to the destruction of basic infrastructure and thus severely affected imports of food, fuel and medicine. Humanitarian organizations estimate that about 14.4 million people are food insecure, 14.1 million are in need of health care and 19.3 million lack access to water and sanitation.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, commented that “The EU is stepping up vital humanitarian assistance to Yemen, which is in a desperate situation. The whole country is suffocating from a lack of food, of water, fuel, and the economy is collapsing. Civilians are paying the highest price for the conflict, as their resilience has reached its limits. Attacks against civilians, including aid workers, continue to happen. The humanitarian response needs to be scaled up.”

Mr Stylianides then added that “This additional funding will help humanitarian agencies in the country that operate under extremely difficult circumstances to continue providing life-saving assistance, such as health care, water and sanitation, nutrition and food security”. The new tranche of funding comes on top of the €80 million in humanitarian aid that the European Commission has provided since the beginning of the conflict to respond to the looming humanitarian disaster.

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