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High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen 1 March 2021

NORWAY: Statement by State Secretary, Mr Jens Frølich Holte

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Six years of relentless conflict in Yemen have devastated the lives of millions of people. The human suffering is enormous. The only way to resolve this humanitarian crisis is through an inclusive political solution to the conflict.

With millions of Yemenis at risk of starvation, it is crucial to ensure sufficient funding.

I would like to thank the UN, Sweden and Switzerland for convening this important event.

 

I would like to make three points:

 

First: The humanitarian crisis will continue to deepen unless there is an end to the violence. We are alarmed by the recent escalation of fighting, including the offensive in Marib, which threatens to increase the number of internally displaced people dramatically. We are also concerned about the situation in Hodeidah. Norway stands firmly behind the efforts of the UN Special Envoy. We urge the parties to engage in a ceasefire and seek political consultations. It is essential to include women in all humanitarian and political efforts.

 

Second: We urge the parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. This includes ensuring safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need. Protection must be at the core. Protecting civilians – especially children – is a prerequisite for achieving a sustainable solution to the conflict. Those responsible for violations must be held accountable.

 

Lastly: Norway gives high priority to the humanitarian response in Yemen.

I am pleased to announce a contribution of 200 million Norwegian kroner in 2021. Further contributions will be considered.

Norway also provides substantial core funding to key humanitarian organisations and is among the top donors to the CERF. This year we have increased our core contributions to WFP with 167 per cent, and to UNHCR with 79 per cent. Increased flexibility enables the organisations to respond to the acute food and protection crisis in Yemen. 

 

Let me conclude by thanking our humanitarian partners for their invaluable efforts under very difficult circumstances.