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UNGA: Humanitarian crisis in Yemen

Statement by Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide at the high-level side-event The humanitarian crisis in Yemen: Averting an outbreak of famine, 23 September 2020.

| New York

The people of Yemen are suffering and in need.

We remain deeply concerned about what is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Now we must mobilise to prevent an outbreak of famine, which will make what is already a horrible situation even worse.

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I would like to thank Sweden and the European Commission for organising this event.

Let me also thank our humanitarian partners for their efforts on the ground, where they are working under extremely difficult circumstances: UNOCHA, WFP, NRC, ICRC/IFRC and others.

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So far this year, Norway has contributed approximately USD 23 million to the humanitarian response in Yemen.

We also provide substantial core funding to key humanitarian organisations and the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund.

Just this week, our funding enabled the Norwegian Red Cross and cooperating Red Cross and Red Crescent partners to establish a field hospital for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in Aden.  

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I would like to make four points today: 

  • The humanitarian response in Yemen is severely underfunded. I therefore call upon all donors that have committed to provide humanitarian support for Yemen to immediately release their funds. I also call upon both old and new donors to contribute.

  • We urge the parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law. This includes ensuring safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need.

  • Protection must be at the core of our humanitarian response. Protecting civilians is both an urgent necessity and a prerequisite for solutions to the conflict.

  • Norway supports the efforts of the UN Special Envoy. We urge the parties to the conflict to accept the Joint Declaration, agree to a ceasefire and engage in political consultations.

In conclusion, I would like to stress that women must be included in all humanitarian and political efforts.

Only a broad and inclusive political solution can put an end to this crisis.