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EU doubles its funding to fight hunger in Yemen

A woman feeding her son in Yemen © Unicef
26/07/2012  - 

The European Commission is increasing its humanitarian funding to Yemen by €20 million to curb the deterioration of the critical humanitarian situation in the poorest of all Arab countries.

Commissioner Georgieva explained: ‘Considering how fast this crisis is growing, and the number of people it is affecting, Yemen is becoming one of the direst humanitarian crises in the world today with record malnutrition rates. But it is also among the crises that risk slipping off the radar of international donors. We cannot allow that. The European Commission is boosting its humanitarian support so that it can reach with relief more of the worst-affected people with relief, the majority of whom are women, children and refugees. We are helping those who cannot help themselves, but we are also building bridges to rehabilitation – this is the only way to help Yemen pull itself up from the bottom, where its chronic problems have dragged it.’

Conflict in the north of Yemen is affecting around one million people, while more than 250 000 are suffering due to conflict in the south. Yemen’s malnutrition levels are among the world’s highest. Some 10 million Yemenis (40% of the population) live mainly on bread and tea. One million children suffer from acute malnutrition.

The continuing influx of refugees from the Horn of Africa is adding to humanitarian needs. Another challenge is restricted access to those in need, caused by fighting and repeated attacks on – and kidnappings of – relief workers.

The aid boost brings the Commission's 2012 humanitarian assistance to Yemen to €40 million. The EU is linking its actions with early recovery and development programmes wherever possible.