Brussels, 15 January 2011
Commissioner Georgieva announces an increase of European humanitarian aid to Yemen
Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response announced today the mobilisation of 15 million EUR (19,5 million USD) to address Yemen’s pressing humanitarian needs, caused by internal conflicts and the influx of refugees from the Horn of Africa. During her joint humanitarian mission to Yemen with Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Kristalina Georgieva visited the conflict-affected area in Northern Yemen, as well as refugee camps in the South. They held meetings with high-level government officials, representatives of the international community and the Houthi armed movement.
During her trip to Yemen, Commissioner Georgieva said: “We intensify our efforts to help Yemen deal with an increasingly complex humanitarian crisis. Last year’s humanitarian aid budget of 10 million EUR will be increased to 15 million EUR. The country generously hosts a large refugee population, coming mainly from conflict-ridden Somalia. But there also hundreds of thousands of Yemeni who are internally displaced by the conflict in the North, and who are also in dire need of assistance. For us, Yemen is not a forgotten crisis. And I call upon the international community to join us in addressing these humanitarian needs. I also call on Yemeni authorities and the northern armed movements to facilitate humanitarian access and delivery of aid to all Yemeni people in need."
The European financial assistance will continue to be directed at providing food, shelter, access to safe drinking water, latrines and showers, health services, protection and solid waste management, as well as essential household items (blankets, kitchen sets) to internally displaced persons and refugees in Yemen.
As part of its strengthened support, today Commissioner Georgieva opened a humanitarian office in Yemen, which will work with humanitarian organisations to facilitate the assessment of needs, to monitor the delivery and impact of aid, and to improve the coordination of international humanitarian assistance.
Yemen continues to face political instability due to internal conflicts. The number of internally displaced persons in Yemen's Northern Governorates is estimated at over 340,000. Parts of Southern Yemen are also volatile, as a result of violent demonstrations and attacks against security forces. In addition, the instability in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia, has resulted in an increasing flow of persons landing on Yemen's shores and a growing number of refugees and asylum seekers. It is estimated that 174,000 people have arrived - in Yemen from Somalia and other countries of the Horn of Africa, and the stream continues. Poverty, instability and depletion of the resources of host communities mean that many IDPs and refugees have few opportunities to make a living. The most vulnerable among them depend almost entirely on international humanitarian aid.
For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm