Assistant Secretary of State Schenker Leads U.S. Delegation to High-Level Virtual Pledging Conference

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker led the U.S. delegation at the High-Level Virtual Pledging Conference on June 2 for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen co-hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Nations. He was joined by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs Mark Pekala, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Richard Albright, U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Chris Henzel, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Food for Peace Deputy Director Matt Nims.

The United States remains one of the largest donors to the humanitarian response in Yemen, where more than 24 million people- 80 percent of the population – require humanitarian assistance. As Secretary Pompeo announced on May 6, 2020, the United States is providing nearly $225 million in additional emergency food assistance to support the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Yemen.  In the past 20 years, the United States government has provided more than $4 billion in overall assistance to Yemen. This $4 billion includes $1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance since October 2018 and nearly $140 million in development assistance since 2017.

We welcome the announcements of additional pledges today, and hope for the swift disbursement of this urgently needed funding. This event clearly demonstrates donors’ continued commitment to assisting the Yemeni people, and collective position on the need for this assistance to be provided according to globally-accepted humanitarian principles. The United States urges the Houthis in particular to demonstrate the same level of commitment to assist their fellow Yemenis, and to cooperate with donors and humanitarian aid organizations to allow aid to reach those who need it most without undue interference. We further urge all parties to continue working towards a lasting political solution to this conflict which is the surest way to bring relief and hope to the people of Yemen.

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