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$247m in aid pledged for Yemen

Gulf News Wednesday, February 24th 2016 06:18 PM
Yemen's Minister for Local Administration Abdul Raqeeb Saif Fateh addresses the audience.

After three days of heated discussions on the crisis in the war torn country, the Yemen Humanitarian Crisis conference concluded on Wednesday with pledges of at least $247 million in aid and increased relief efforts.

Dignitaries from the governments of Qatar and Yemen, as well as representatives of various regional and international aid organisations, had gathered in Doha for the event organised by Qatar Charity to bring renewed attention towards the Yemen crisis.

Qatar Charity and the International Islamic Charitable Organisation (Kuwait) pledged $100 million in aid each for three years. Whereas pledges of $10 million (Qatar Red Crescent), $5 million over three years (Silatech Qatar), $5 million over three years (Human Appeal International), $2 million over three years (Reach Out to Asia) were also made. This was in addition to several others at the end of the conference.

Yemen’s Minister of Local Administration Abdul Raqeeb Saif Fateh highlighted a few of the problems his country has been facing during the ongoing war. “I would like to bring your attention to the 22 million Yemeni people who are suffering from the effects of war. More than two million children are out of school, several hundred thousand pregnant women are unable to receive adequate healthcare and 12 million people are facing attacks everyday.”

Speaking on behalf of the international NGOs, Reza Kasrai, of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, said that coordination among aid agencies was of primary importance to ensure even distribution of relief work. He reiterated the need for ensuring eased delivery of goods and safe movement of aid workers as the attacks and bombardments continue abated in Yemen.

Another major development from the conference was the announcement of a GCC committee aimed at coordinating aid efforts for the Yemen crisis. Speaking on behalf of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, which will act as an umbrella for this committee, Abdullah Al Ruwaili said that an office of the committee will be formed on March 7, following which regional countries and NGOs will start working together.

The overriding sentiment during the course of the conference was to underline the continued need for aid and the international community’s role in ensuring peace in Yemen, which has long been a cultural and historic hub of the Arabian Peninsula.

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