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New York, Jun 2 (Canadian-Media): The United Nations and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia co-hosted a high-level virtual pledging event today for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, UNOCHA reports said.
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Twenty-four million people – 80 per cent of the population – need aid and protection in Yemen. The humanitarian operation assists more than 10 million people every month. Without additional funds, however, life-saving programmes will soon be forced to reduce or close in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
Speaking at the opening of the event, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock urged the world to do more to help the people of Yemen.
“The situation in Yemen is catastrophic,” said Mr. Lowcock.
“This is what more than five years of war have done to Yemen. The health system is in a state of collapse. COVID-19 comes on top of the many problems already facing Yemen – economic collapse, destroyed infrastructure, hunger, disease and displacement. Yemenis themselves say things are worse today than at any time in their recent history,” he added.
Mr. Lowcock stressed that so far this year, the world has offered less help than it did last year, noting that never have we had so little money for humanitarian action in Yemen this late in the year.
The event is being co-hosted by Mr. Lowcock and His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In opening remarks, UN Secretary-General António Guterres thanked the many Governments and representatives demonstrating their solidarity with the Yemeni people.
“More than five years of conflict have left Yemenis hanging on by a thread, their economy in tatters, their institutions facing near-collapse,” said the Secretary-General.
“Yemenis desperately need peace. Today is a day to demonstrate solidarity with some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world,” he added.
As part of the pledging event, international donors and aid organizations convened virtually to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and announce pledges to address the dire needs in the country.
Aid agencies estimate they will need up to US$2.41 billion to cover essential aid from June until December in Yemen, including programmes to counter COVID-19. Unless significant funding is secured, more than 30 out of 41 major UN programmes in Yemen will close in the next few weeks.
A question-and-answer session with the media was also held with Mr. Lowcock and H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court and Supervisor General, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief). The media session was moderated by Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the UN.