Ireland one of only 29 countries to respond to Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2020

Ireland one of only 29 countries to respond to Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2020

  • Donors slash funding to Yemen by half to 21 cents a day per person in need

  • Catastrophic impact of cuts to funding already being felt – Oxfam

Tuesday 6 October 2020

Donors have given the equivalent of 21 cents per day for each of the 24.3 million people in need in Yemen, almost half the amount given last year, Oxfam warned today.

The dramatic cuts come despite COVID-19 heaping further challenges on a country already suffering the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

In contrast to some donors cutting their contribution to the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan by almost 50 percent in 2020, the Irish government has nearly matched its 2019 commitment.

More than a third of the UN’s humanitarian programmes have already been cut back, with some completely shut down between April and August due to the funding shortage. Cuts include a reduction in services at 300 health centres and in food distributions across the country.

More than five years of conflict, the destruction of homes and basic infrastructure, in addition to increased prices of food and a lack of job opportunities, have all contributed to leave a population deprived of the essentials, including food, clean water and healthcare.

Muhsin Siddiquey, Country Director of Oxfam Yemen said: “While the economic fallout unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every corner of the globe, in Yemen millions are on the brink of starvation.

"Yemenis had already suffered the hardships of more than five years of conflict before the pandemic wreaked further havoc, leaving them acutely vulnerable to disease and hunger. The international community urgently needs to step up funding for Yemen as well as honouring the pledges already made so that people can get the lifesaving aid they need.”

In real terms, the impact of the cut in aid is likely to be even greater than it appears because a depreciation in the Yemeni Rial has pushed up prices beyond the reach of millions. In Yemen, 21 cents would buy 200 grams of kidney beans or three eggs, according to the latest available market data, from July.

Jim Clarken, Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland said: “The UN’s appeal for funds to supply people with clean water, food, shelter and medicine in 2020 is just 40 percent funded. According to the UN’s Financial Tracking Service, almost all donors have given substantially less money this year, including four of the biggest donors last year– the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - even though the number of people in need in Yemen has risen from 22.2 million to 24.3 million.

“Considering the ongoing situation in Yemen, described by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, it is good to see Irish government consistently respond to the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, with over 4.6 million committed this year – making Ireland one of only 29 countries to respond to the 2020 appeal.

“In response to this dire shortage in funding, which will result in even further suffering, Oxfam Ireland’s winter appeal will focus on Yemen. Funds raised through our winter appeal will support the distribution of cash transfers, vouchers, and cash-for-work projects, hygiene packs and the rehabilitation of infrastructure to ensure access to clean, safe water - supporting and protecting the people of Yemen and other communities most in need across the world.”



Caroline Reid | | 087 912 3165

Notes to editors

Yemen 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan - donor list

Yemen 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan - donor list

Donations to fund the humanitarian response in Yemen are registered by the UN’s Financial Tracking Service. Daily amounts were calculated using the total amount donated to Yemen in 2019 and 2020 (both inside and outside the Humanitarian Response Plan) and the UN’s total number of people in need. Only recorded commitments have been included in this analysis; pledges have not been accounted for, and nor has funding that has not been recorded by the Financial Tracking Service. The figure for 2020 was calculated up to and including 21st September 2020.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation reported market data for Yemen in July.

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