The sharp reduction in funds pledged at Tuesday’s Virtual Yemen Pledging Conference compared to last year, will be catastrophic for Yemeni people as they struggle to contain the coronavirus outbreak, warns Save the Children.
This year’s Pledging Conference raised USD$1.35 billion (AUD$1.96 billion), just half of the amount pledged at last year’s conference, which totalled USD$2.6 billion (AUD$3.77 billion).
The aim for this years’ conference was $USD$2.4 billion (AUD$3.48 billion), which included a USD$180 million (AUD$261 million) fund to fight COVID-19.
Xavier Joubert, Save the Children country director in Yemen, said:
“This conference was a crucial opportunity to ensure that life-saving aid would continue to reach the Yemeni population at a time when the country is in its darkest hour, facing continued violence, hunger, and now the COVID-19 outbreak which they have to fight with a decimated health system.
“It is extremely disappointing to see that the involved donors, with the exception of few governments that equalled last year’s pledges despite the current circumstances, could not come together to step up their efforts to save critical programmes that millions of Yemeni families depend on for their survival. It feels like the world abandoned Yemen today.
“We hope that donors will make additional commitments and trust INGOs in their capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance in extremely challenging conditions.
“What is even more shameful, is that the warring parties are also failing to do their part. The primary focus should be aimed at the Covid-19 outbreak, but besides a temporary slowdown during the COVID-19 ceasefire, fighting has increased over the past weeks.
“In the last few days, at least ten people were killed, including two children. If an immediate nationwide ceasefire is not implemented, the chances of Yemeni people to fight against this global pandemic will be annihilated.”