(New York, 11 January 2019) Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley today announced a US$32 million contribution from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support critical services to enable the scale-up of the life-saving humanitarian response in Yemen.
The CERF allocation will allow WFP to ramp up humanitarian logistical operations, including increases in humanitarian air cargo, transport more humanitarian workers, provide more accommodation spaces, including in Hodeida, and expand emergency telecommunications. This will support the work of UN agencies as well as NGOs engaged in the humanitarian relief operation.
“Across Yemen, courageous humanitarians are already helping millions of people, but the needs are even greater. The World Food Programme is scaling up to increase its assistance from 8 million people a month to 12 million a month and this contribution from the Central Emergency Response Fund will help make that happen,” Beasley said.
The scale-up in the humanitarian operation aims to reach the most vulnerable people in priority districts, including internally displaced people, with the full range of life-saving assistance that is required in the world’s largest humanitarian emergency. The rapid infusion of funds complements funding from the Yemen Humanitarian Fund in support of front-line responders.
“To avert the worst in Yemen, all parties to the conflict must facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need,” said Lowcock. “WFP provide outstanding logistical support, including transport, accommodation and communications support for many aid agencies, and this allocation will finance an urgent extension of those services.”
Beasley and Lowcock also welcomed recent decisions in Sanaa to provide more visas for humanitarian workers, to investigate allegations of theft of food aid and punish those responsible, to ban the sale of food aid intended for Yemenis with no income and to put in place more effective targeting and monitoring systems.
Lowcock commented “Having more humanitarian workers in Yemen will both allow us to reach more needy people and ensure help gets to the neediest without diversion. We will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure the relief effort is as effective as possible.”
In 2018, the CERF provided $50 million to the humanitarian response in Yemen. For 2019, the UN-coordinated Humanitarian Response Plan is expected to require some $4 billion to provide assistance and protection to more than 24 million people. The Secretary-General will convene a high-level pledging conference in Geneva on 26 February, co-hosted by the governments of Sweden and Switzerland.
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