EU doubles funding to address humanitarian crisis
By Irina Smirnova-Godoy | Thursday 26 July 2012
Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab peninsula, will receive €20 million in extra funding to mitigate its critical humanitarian situation, the European Commission announced, on 26 July. Some 43% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line and it has the world’s third highest rate of malnutrition. Kristalina Georgieva, the commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, called the situation in Yemen one of the direst humanitarian crises and said “it is also among the crises that risk slipping off the radar of international donors. We cannot allow that”.
The country, afflicted by chronic poverty and frequent droughts, is now facing rising levels of displacement due to armed conflicts in the North and the South that had seen six major clashes since 2004. More than 300,000 Yemenis have been displaced and have not been able to return to their homes in the North, whereas the internally displaced in the South number 250,000. The humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa is also directly affecting Yemen with 221,000 refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia.
The worsening security situation makes it difficult for aid workers to bring aid to those who need it. This leaves large numbers of people isolated from essential humanitarian support.
Since 1994, more than €93 million have been provided by the Commission in vital assistance to the affected population. In 2012, the Commission allocated €40 million to be used for food and supplementary feeding of extremely vulnerable families with small children. A small portion of the extra funding will be used to monitor the rapidly evolving security situation as well as humanitarian demining and protection activities to encourage the internally displaced to return.