Yemen Conference 2020 - High-Level Pledging Event for Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

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02-Jun-2020 04:13:14
Yemen: ‘Hanging on by a thread’, UN chief requests funding to meet staggering humanitarian crisis.

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More than five years of conflict have left Yemenis “hanging on by a thread, their economy in tatters” and their institutions “facing near-collapse”, the UN chief told a virtual pledging conference on Tuesday, calling for a demonstration of solidarity with some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

On 10 April, Yemen reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19, posing a terrifying threat to people weakened by years of conflict, and with a health system on the brink of collapse.

Citing reports that the mortality rate from COVID-19 in Aden are among the highest in the world, the UN chief maintained: “That is just one sign of what lies ahead, if we do not act now”.

“Tackling COVID-19 on top of the existing humanitarian emergency requires urgent action”, he stressed. “We must preserve the major humanitarian aid operation that is already underway – the world’s largest – while developing new public health programmes to fight the virus and strengthen healthcare systems” – all of which requires financing.

After five years of “economic collapse, destroyed infrastructure, hunger, disease and displacement”, COVID-19 is the latest blow to strike the war-torn country, said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and conference co-host, Mark Lowcock.

“The situation in Yemen is catastrophic”, he asserted, explaining that the coronavirus is “spreading rapidly”, with data suggesting “a much higher rate of severe illness and death than in many other countries”.

Sharing the gavel, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia said that his country “supports the UN efforts to reach a political solution in Yemen to alleviate the suffering and support humanitarian, economic and developmental aspects”.

At the end of the conference, Mr. Lowcock reported the $1.35 billion dollars had been pledged.

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