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Ministers Coveney and Cannon announce funding to Yemen humanitarian crisis

Funding, Irish Aid, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, MoS Cannon, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2017


Ministers Coveney and Cannon announce funding for response to humanitarian crisis in Yemen


- €750k increase in funding to UN Yemen Humanitarian Fund

- Ireland is providing €4.8m in assistance in humanitarian response to Yemen this year



Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D. and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr. Ciarán Cannon, T.D., today called for an increased humanitarian response to the deteriorating situation in Yemen, as well as stronger efforts to reach a negotiated resolution to the conflict.


The Ministers announced additional Irish funding of €750,000 to the UN Yemen Humanitarian Fund.  This brings Ireland’s total direct humanitarian support to Yemen to over €4.8 million this year, and almost €11.3m since the conflict began.  In addition, Ireland is the fifth largest donor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has allocated USD $25.6m to Yemen so far this year.


Minister Coveney said:

“The catastrophe in Yemen is entirely man-made, brought about by the ongoing brutal conflict.  In addition to the loss of life, infrastructure has been destroyed, cutting off much of the population from food and other supplies. Over 20 million people - 75% of the total population- are severely affected, with millions on the brink of famine, while dealing with the largest cholera outbreak in modern history.


More must be done, as the global community, at EU level, and through the UN.  Otherwise, I am deeply concerned that what is already the world’s largest humanitarian crisis will worsen. As part of Ireland’s response, I have decided to allocate an additional €750,000 to support urgent life-saving assistance for Yemenis facing starvation and disease.   


Humanitarian aid alone will not solve this crisis. The war has now entered its third year and the political process has stalled. Ireland fully supports the efforts of UN Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and his team, who are working to build a peace agreement. I call on all parties in Yemen to return to the negotiating table. 


In addition, Ireland is also working through the UN system to address the human rights situation in Yemen.”


Minister of State Cannon added:

The recent escalation in hostilities, which has closed Yemen’s borders, has impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid. Without access to vital food, fuel and medicines, Yemenis will not survive.


All air, sea and land borders must remain open to humanitarian access.  The delivery of life-saving assistance and vital imports, including medicines, is urgently needed if diseases such as cholera are to be addressed and lives saved.”


At the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017, Ireland joined a small core group of countries that drove forward the adoption of a Resolution on Yemen. This Resolution establishes a group of international experts, who will examine the facts in relation to violations of human rights and humanitarian law on the ground. This group will report back to the Human Rights Council, as an important step towards accountability in Yemen.



Press Office

24 November 2017


Notes for the editor: