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Yemen: Life-saving help for a million people a year

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK will provide life-saving assistance to 1 million people a year in Yemen

The UK will provide life-saving assistance to 1 million people a year in Yemen under new plans set out by International Development Minister Alan Duncan today during a visit to Sana’a, the country’s capital.

This UK support, up to £70m over the next two years, will provide emergency food assistance, shelter, clean water and help for people recovering from conflict.

Widespread humanitarian needs throughout Yemen are threatening the fragile political transition that has followed the events of the Arab Spring in 2011. UK funding will help to meet basic needs in the run up to open elections in February next year and through the first year of the new government, making a successful transition more viable, as well as saving lives.

Over one fifth of Yemen’s population are in urgent need of food assistance and nearly half of all children under five years old suffer from chronic malnutrition, with a quarter of a million of them at risk of death unless they get the treatment they need. The new support from the UK will:

  • provide shelter or water to 300,000 people, help 68,000 people earn a living and provide medicine and access to doctors for 25,000 people this year
  • provide rapid emergency assistance for over 200,000 people in the event of sudden crises, for example outbreaks of conflict or natural disasters
  • continue to tackle malnutrition in 1.65 million people and ensure 430,000 food insecure people get money or vouchers on a regular basis to purchase food
  • provide shelter, food and other aid to tens of thousands of people across Yemen who have been driven out of their homes as a result of conflict
  • support hundreds of thousands of people with cash for work schemes, employment, or the chance to earn a better income from home and small businesses

Speaking from Sana’a, International Development Minister Alan Duncan said:

“In the last two years, Yemen has been pushed to the brink of civil war and seen the ousting of President Saleh after 32 years in power, all while dealing with a protracted and complex humanitarian crisis. The elections that will take place in a year’s time are critical to a stable, prosperous future for Yemen. As well as providing immediate, lifesaving aid, this new support will help to provide a backdrop against which the political transition, centred around the elections, has a greater chance of success.

“Critically, by providing support to the agencies we work with on a two-year basis, we will give them the predictable funding they need to plan the longer term support programmes that will address the root causes of the humanitarian crisis rather than simply tackling the symptoms.

“Short term funding can provide a rapid response, but long-term funding means aid agencies can commit to the initiatives needed to effect meaningful change. This will help people recover from crisis and support their families without being dependent on emergency assistance.”