This statement was read by Shane Stevenson, Oxfam’s Country Director in Yemen, on behalf of Oxfam and 21 other international NGOs currently working in Yemen.
INGOs are delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance to millions of vulnerable Yemenis, despite the complex and serious nature of the security situation and sustained bureaucratic access constraints.
For the record, we would like to formally acknowledge the dedication and commitment of all national, international and UN humanitarian aid workers in Yemen. Delivering humanitarian assistance in Yemen is neither safe nor simple, particularly for the thousands of Yemeni staff whose work to deliver shows fortitude and courage.
The reality is that despite these gallant efforts, the humanitarian response is still failing to meet the basic needs of the 22 million Yemenis requiring assistance and protection. Yemeni people are dying of preventable illnesses, and the number on the brink of famine continues to rise.
As INGOs we are grateful for the financial commitments made by member states here today, but more is needed to tackle a humanitarian catastrophe of the scale we see in Yemen. What we need is a marked increase in engagement from the international community in the complexities of this conflict in order to reduce the suffering of the Yemeni people.
Therefore, today, INGOs are inviting donors and high-level Ministerial visits to Yemen, to enable you to ground your engagement and approach to supporting the country.
- By being in Yemen you will better understand the short term but also the longer term needs of the Yemeni people, delve into the narrative and stories behind the figures cited in the HNO today. To understand the needs of the two million people that have fled their homes, the plight of the unpaid health worker, the frustration of the teachers with a classroom of hungry children, and the fear the conflict brings to daily life.
- By being in Yemen you will better understand the grounded realities of delivering humanitarian aid and to be better placed to help resolve the daily impediments in delivering that support; to experience the frustration that comes from knowing that people are suffering because we are being prevented from reaching them - that more people could be helped if administration processes were fast tracked and security improved.
- By being in Yemen you will better understand the modalities of the humanitarian response and the need for increased funding for livelihoods, community resilience building, and kick start the process of early recovery in parts of the country where there is some stability.
- By being in Yemen you will better understand the devastation created by the failure of authorities to pay public servants for nearly two years. We need you to take responsibility for finding modalities to address this, and ensure hospitals, schools and water networks are operational.
- By being in Yemen you will better understand that restrictions in imports and unstable supply chains lead to critical shortages, and to see the impact of inflated prices across basic commodities such as food, fuel and medicines.
- By being in Yemen you will better understand that the future of the country is at risk as close to 2 million children are denied access to education.
Finally, by being in Yemen you will foster and strengthen engagement with all important stakeholders. We need leadership from the international community that doesn’t just passively support a peace process but takes an active role in driving it forward.
Despite the generosity of member states and the gallant efforts of the humanitarian response, the plight of the Yemeni people continues to deteriorate. We are all fearful that another year will pass, no progress will be made, and more people will suffer and die.
Notes to editors:
Agencies who have signed:
- Action Against Hunger
- CARE International
- Danish Refugee Council
- Human Appeal
- Humanity and Inclusion (Handicap International)
- International Medical Corps
- International Rescue Committee
- Medecins du Monde
- Norwegian Refugee Council
- Premiere Urgence Internationale
- Pure Hands
- Relief International
- Save the Children
- Search for Common Ground
- Solidarites International
- War Child