CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
I would like to thank Sweden, Switzerland and OCHA for organising this pledging conference. I am very honoured to be here today, representing the European Union.
It is, also, my moral duty to be here. At this very timely event in support of the Yemeni people. Who are going through unimaginable suffering.
The different speakers already gave us the shocking figures. Figures which illustrate the scale and gravity of this humanitarian tragedy.
After two years of conflict, the Yemen crisis is at a critical juncture. With a looming famine and new displacements.
The preservation of Hodeidah port is crucial. In order to allow the much needed commercial and humanitarian imports in the country. And avoid Yemen slipping into famine.
Earlier this month, the European Council adopted conclusions on Yemen. Underlining the devastating consequences of the conflict for the country and its population. The situation is especially critical among children. With over 2.2 million acutely malnourished.
I want to voice my huge appreciation for the exceptional work of the humanitarian actors on the ground: to the UN, the Red Cross and the Red Crescent movement. To the International and local NGOs.
They operate in extremely difficult circumstances. With more and more access restrictions. We all need to support humanitarian actors to increase humanitarian access. And allow life-saving assistance to be delivered to the most vulnerable.
We must put the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructures first. Ensuring respect of International Humanitarian Law. Enhanced coordination between donors and at operational level is crucial in that respect.
Even though today we should respond to the huge needs, humanitarian assistance alone cannot solve the problems.
The Yemen crisis is a man-made crisis. Therefore, a political solution is needed. We must also be ready to ensure an effective "aid continuum". From humanitarian aid to stabilization and development support. That's why I support the initiatives aiming at promoting informal dialogue among Yemeni actors. As well as with regional and international stakeholders.
All of the above is a key condition for preserving human life. And for reducing human suffering in this conflict. It is also a fundamental political cornerstone for reconciliation. For the stability in the region, and for prosperity of the country.
The EU stands in solidarity with the Yemeni population. It is with a strong sense of duty that I am announcing today One Hundred and Sixteen (116) million Euros for Yemen. In EU support. The EU has been providing support to Yemen before the conflict. We are ready to assist Yemen after the conflict.
Now is the time to show that the world is not forgetting Yemen. Now is the time to transform declarations into action. Together we can make a difference.