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5.5 million euros for the Yemenis

Alisson De Leenheer
07 December 2018
The humanitarian situation in Yemen can be described as “desperate”, considered as one of the worst in the world. Belgium is aware of this situation and has responded to the United Nations’ appeal by intensifying its assistance.


Origin of the conflict

In 2014, a civil war broke out in Yemen. The conflict opposed the Shiite Houthi rebels to the regime established in 2012 by Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Since 2015, this crisis has become international. An alliance of Arab countries, led by the Saudi Arabs, intervened in favour of the government which had taken refuge in the south. According to the UN, the conflict has already claimed nearly 10,000 civilian casualties in just over 3 years.


Humanitarian interventions

Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, has launched an emergency appeal to the Security Council for Yemen. Belgium has responded with an additional 5.5 million euros in humanitarian aid. Since the beginning of this conflict, our country has granted over 25 million euros in humanitarian aid to Yemen, mainly for civilians who do not have access to health care or medication. In view of the situation, doctors are sometimes forced to work on a voluntary basis since there is no longer any money to remunerate them.

In addition to severe famine, Yemen is also affected by a cholera epidemic. Children are the first to be affected. Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo explains: “UNICEF estimates that in Yemen, one child is infected with cholera every minute. Without treatment, children weaken so much in a few hours that they can hardly breathe.”

Belgium actively supports the United Nations in its interventions to save Yemen, especially civilians. It also advocates a complete standstill in the supply of weapons to the country. Alexander De Croo considers that this act is indefensible and fuels the conflict. A resumption of dialogue and a ceasefire for all parties are priorities in this situation, which is deteriorating from day to day.


The situation in figures

UN statistics are alarming:

  • 22.2 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance or protection;
  • 17.8 million are food insecure;
  • 8.4 million are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation;
  • 16 million do not have access to drinking water and sanitation;
  • 16.4 million lack access to adequate health care;
  • As a result, 80 % of the Yemeni population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.



Humanitarian aid Yemen
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