Yemen will fall off the radar as other crises occupy the headlines and aid budgets

Yemen Humanitarian Crisis 2022

This year, almost three quarters of the population of Yemen will need and depend on humanitarian assistance and protection to get by, to survive. That is an increase of 13 per cent in a year, of what was already a frightening figure.

This includes 19 million people who will go hungry unless they receive assistance, and almost 12 million women and girls who will continue to face everyday threats to their safety and well-being.

Since 2015, more than US$14 billion has been provided to support the UN-led humanitarian response in Yemen – an equally astonishing figure – and thanks to our incredibly generous donors, two of which, of course, are our co-hosts today. Your support has saved millions of lives, and we know this because when funding has been generous, food insecurity has gone down and disease outbreaks have become less deadly.

And when donor support has slowed equally, then we have seen humanitarian needs rapidly grow. And this is, sadly, where we are now. Funding has dried up, leaving aid agencies no alternative but to slash programmes that millions of people rely on to survive.

Many fear – and we already heard these comments today – that Yemen will fall off the radar as other crises occupy the headlines and aid budgets.

We must not let that happen, and this is also why we are here today in Geneva.

I do not believe that global solidarity is a finite commodity, or that an escalation in suffering in one part of the world means there is less will to help elsewhere.

On the contrary, we have recently seen what the world can achieve when it comes together, and the extraordinary response from individuals and civil society across all continents to at least one recent crisis has been a salutary reminder of the generosity of families and individuals.

We are calling here on you to marshal that spirit, that welcome, that generosity for the people of Yemen.

At the same time, after seven years of these enormous appeals, we know that business as usual is not enough.

We need to move towards more sustainable assistance, including long-term action to tackle the underlying drivers of this crisis, particularly the country’s collapsing economy.

Today let us show through the pledges we make that we have not forgotten the people of Yemen.

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