Norway increases humanitarian support to Yemen

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ICRC aid delivery in Taiz, Yemen. Photo: ICRC / Fareed Al-Homaid

‘The humanitarian situation in Yemen is very dramatic. Immense suffering is being inflicted on the civilian population. Norway is therefore increasing its humanitarian support to Yemen to a total of NOK 212 million in 2017,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende at a donor conference for Yemen in Geneva today.

This is a significant increase since last year, when Norway provided a total of NOK 115 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen. Norway’s support is channelled through several UN organisations, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and humanitarian organisations cooperating with local partners in Yemen. Norway also provides humanitarian aid through multilateral channels such as the World Bank, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and Education Cannot Wait ­– a fund for education in situations of crisis and conflict.

According to the UN, Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 % of the population – or 19 million people – need humanitarian assistance. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the international appeal launched by the UN is dramatically underfunded.

‘More humanitarian aid for Yemen must be mobilised quickly, and aid workers must be granted access,’ Mr Brende said. 

Peace talks between President Hadi’s Government and the Houthi movement have been suspended since August 2016.  The UN Special Envoy for Yemen tried to resume negotiations last autumn, but since then the situation has been deadlocked.

‘A political solution based on negotiations is crucial to end the suffering of the Yemeni population. Norway supports attempts by the UN Special Envoy to get the partners back to the negotiating table as quickly as possible. The announcement by UN Secretary-General Guterres that Yemen is one of the countries he will give priority to is an important step forward,’ said Mr Brende.