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Yemen: EU allocates €119 additional million for humanitarian crisis

© European Union, 2019 (photographer: Peter Biro)

On 22 September, the European Commission announced an additional €119 million in humanitarian and development aid to support vulnerable Yemenis suffering from over 6 years of conflict.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with close to 70% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance. The crisis has also set back human development in the country by more than 20 years, impacting national institutions, public services and infrastructures.

The funding announced today on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly brings EU support to Yemen in 2021 to €209 million.

Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: "Humanitarian needs in Yemen are unprecedented and keep increasing, while the response is only half-funded. Thousands are starving, and millions are on the verge of famine. The EU remains committed to continuing its assistance to Yemen and call on the parties to grant unrestricted humanitarian access and allow the flow of basic commodities such as food and fuel. The EU supports the UN-led political process. Only peace can bring Yemenis’ suffering to an end.”

Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “Human suffering in Yemen must be stopped. Today the EU is delivering on its commitment to act and avert famine by using all the instruments at its disposal. The strengthened development funding announced today as part of the EU pledge will address the economic drivers that fuel the increasing humanitarian needs on the ground. The EU sends a strong signal to other donors on the importance to preserve Yemen’s developmental gains for post-conflict recovery. This will help vulnerable families put food on the table and access vital services across Yemen. Women will play a central role in building the future of Yemen – this is why our support will put a strong emphasis on women economic empowerment.”

Humanitarian funding announced today amounts to €44 million. It will support displaced populations as well as vulnerable communities affected by food insecurity, poor nutrition and other health crises. EU funding will help to deliver food as well as cash assistance and provide healthcare, protection and nutrition assistance to those affected.

Development funding, €75 million of the total, will improve the resilience of conflict-affected populations. It will help to reduce the negative effects of the deteriorating economic situation on rising humanitarian needs.

EU funding will help local authorities deliver and sustain basic services – including health, education, water and energy supply from sustainable sources. It will help generate income for vulnerable households by providing them with innovative livelihoods opportunities and supporting private entrepreneurship.

Yemeni youth and women will be at the forefront of this approach, planting the seeds for the development of an economic base that could underpin post-conflict economic development.


The humanitarian needs in Yemen have reached an unprecedented scale. The socio-economic situation and the coronavirus pandemic are making matters even worse. The deteriorating economic situation across Yemen continues to eradicate people’s livelihoods, reducing their ability to afford food and basic commodities, further driving up the scale of humanitarian needs. 

Conflict across Yemen continues to endanger civilians, trigger displacement and damage infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. Imports of food, fuel and medicines are restricted, leading to shortages and high prices while humanitarian and development aid continues to face serious impediments.

The continued impact of the pandemic has stretched health services to the limit and restricted access to the markets. For the first time in two years, pockets of famine-like conditions have been identified in Yemen, and the number of people exposed to starvation reached almost 50 000 people. An estimated 16.2 million people face severe food insecurity.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the EU's humanitarian partner organisations have put in place infection, prevention and control measures to avoid propagation. This includes increased awareness and the piloting of a community shielding approach to protect those most vulnerable to severe infection among displaced populations.

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