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EU calls for immediate resumption of full and unrestrained humanitarian access to Yemen

EU calls for full and unrestrained humanitarian access to Yemen
The EU calls for full and unrestrained access to be restored immediately, to avoid Yemen suffering the largest famine in decades. © EU/ECHO T. Deherman

On 6 November the Saudi led military coalition closed air, sea and land entry points to Yemen. This decision has caused major disruptions in the urgent delivery of life-saving activities and a sharp rise in the price of basic commodities, as confirmed by EU partners on the ground.

The country is suffering the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than two thirds of its population in need of humanitarian assistance. The EU shares the concerns expressed by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and calls for full and unrestrained access to be restored immediately, to avoid Yemen suffering the largest famine in decades. This would risk further undermining the prospects of reaching a sustainable political settlement to the ongoing conflict.

On this basis, the EU has been in contact with the Saudi authorities. Initial measures to resume operations in Aden port and to open al Wadea border crossing are a step in the right direction.

The EU urges the Coalition to ensure the immediate resumption of the UN's flights and activities in the ports of Hodeida and Saleef and the opening of land borders for humanitarian relief and basic commercial commodities. The delivery of life-saving supplies is critical for the Yemeni population and must be facilitated by all parties to the conflict.

Background

With an alarming 20.7 million people in need of humanitarian or protection assistance, Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. The conflict in Yemen and its disproportionate economic consequences on civilians are driving the largest food security emergency in the world. Over 17 million people are currently food insecure, of whom 6.8 million are at risk of famine and require immediate food assistance.

In addition, since April 2017, Yemen is facing the largest cholera outbreak ever recorded after three years of conflict. Over 910 000 cholera suspected cases and nearly 2200 related deaths have been recorded so far.

During 2015 and 2016, the EU has allocated €120 million of humanitarian aid for the Yemen crisis. For 2017, the EU is providing €51.7 million in life-saving assistance to the Yemeni populations, bringing the humanitarian total allocation since the start of the conflict to €171.7 million.

Publication date
12/11/2017