Khabar Khair (Only Good News)
On Wednesday, the United Nations announced that it raised US$1.3 billion at a pledging conference to fund Yemen’s humanitarian response plan.
At the Donors’ Conference hosted by the UN along with the governments of Sweden and Switzerland, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said, “Thirty-six donors pledged nearly US$1.3 billion for humanitarian response in Yemen.”
“We hoped for more, and we will be working hard to make sure that we do stand in solidarity with the people of Yemen. I was impressed by the generosity of many donors, because they fulfilled their pledges despite the other crises they face – especially the Ukraine crisis- and this is greatly welcomed.”
“We will monitor the situation to see if we can increase this amount in order to reach – at least- the levels of funding that we reached last year as a minimum, “the UN official said.
Griffiths indicated, “The UN is planning to hold two meetings with the aim of making pledges in the coming months to give Yemen what it deserves.”
Commenting on the outcomes of the conference, Fouad Al-Qadi, an economic journalist, said, “Receiving this amount of pledges in light of the current circumstances the country is going through is a positive step in the right direction toward saving what is left and rebuilding what we can.”
Similarly, Economist Yahya Al-Saqqaf pointed out that raising this amount- at a time when the world is witnessing a crisis that threatens global peace, and when everyone is concerned about what is happening in Ukraine- offers a glimmer of hope for Yemenis and sends a very positive message from the international community that the world continues to stand in solidarity with Yemen. He referred to the statement of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in which he said that the Ukraine crisis will lead to a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
Dr. Iman Shirian drew attention to the fact that the health sector is the most important sector to which the announced aid should be directed. She stressed that spending that amount must be on the basis of transparency in order to ensure quality standards required by UN organizations.
During Donors’ Conference for Yemen, while the United States pledged nearly US$585 million in humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen, the European Commission pledged €154 million, Germany €120 million, the Netherlands €18.6 million, Denmark $18.3 million, Belgium €5 million, Ireland €5 million, Italy €5 million, Austria €4 million, Finland €3.7 million, Canada $62 million, Norway 225 million krone, Japan US$23 million, South Korea US$20 million in the form of aid, France $16 million, Kuwait $10 million, Luxembourg €2 million, and Iceland 30 million kroner.
It is worth mentioning that in recent months, the United Nations, announced the reduction or closure of about two-thirds of life-saving programs in Yemen due to funding shortfalls. The United Nations Children’s Fund “UNICEF” also announced the need for “240 million dollars to finance its projects during the next six months in Yemen.” UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, who participated in the Donors’ Conference after her visit to Yemen, called on the international community to “work to end the conflict and help mobilize urgent support for humanitarian work in Yemen.” She expressed her “hope that the upcoming pledging conference will be dedicated to the reconstruction of Yemen.”