Geneva 26 February 2019
International donors today pledged US$2.62 billion to finance urgent and life-saving humanitarian aid to millions of people in Yemen in 2019. The pledges were announced in the Swiss city of Geneva during a high-level event convened by the United Nations and co-hosted by the governments of Switzerland and Sweden.
Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Fourteen million people are in acute need and another 10 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance or protection.
“The international community came together today to show support and solidarity with the people of Yemen. With your support, humanitarians across Yemen will reach even more women, men and children who are in such dire need,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said. “Echoing millions of suffering Yeminis, I urge the parties to continue negotiations and to choose the path to lasting peace. The UN and the wider international community are here to support you.”
Pledges were made by 40 countries and other donors to support humanitarian deliveries of food, nutrition, shelter, medicines, health services, protection and other essential relief in Yemen in 2019. The pledges, when committed, will help pay for the implementation of the UN-coordinated 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) which seeks $4.2 billion, and other humanitarian activities. Securing full funding for the YHRP remains a priority for the rest of the year.
“The time for peace has come,” said Simonetta Sommaruga, Vice President of the Federal Council of Switzerland, underlining Switzerland’s support to the UN peace process.
“The Stockholm Agreement is an important first step in that direction. Now, it’s crucial to build on the momentum it initiated,” said Ms. Sommaruga, calling on all the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law. “The Stockholm Agreement concluded in December also has a strong humanitarian rationale and impact. It has to be implemented, and full and unimpeded humanitarian access granted, for assistance to reach the most vulnerable people throughout the entire country,” said Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In addition to the pledging event, the governments of Sweden and Switzerland hosted a panel discussion on the Challenges of Food Security and the Role of the Economy with opening remarks by Peter Eriksson, the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, and moderated by the Head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA), Manuel Bessler.
At a pledging event in April last year more than $2 billion were pledged for humanitarian action in Yemen. The payment of these pledges ensured that aid groups could scale-up delivery as needs kept growing throughout 2018.
The pledges made today are available online https://bit.ly/2UadPwH
For additional information:
Paola Ceresetti, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, +41 79 240 1918, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kasper Andersson, Government of Sweden, +46 70-3482165, email@example.com
Jens Laerke, United Nations OCHA, +41 79 472 9750 firstname.lastname@example.org