United Nations hosts donors' conference for addressing Yemen crisis

Hannah Rogers
April 4, 2018

Global donors today pledged more than US$2 billion to support the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to millions of people in Yemen during a pledging event in Geneva, co-chaired by the United Nations, Sweden and Switzerland. Twenty-two million people - three-quarters of the population - require some form of humanitarian assistance.

Asked if he saw a contradiction in the Saudi stance towards Yemen, Guterres said a country's humanitarian commitments and military actions should be kept separate.

On Tuesday, Yemeni forces announced that they attacked a "Saudi-led coalition warship" off the coast of Hudaydah in response to an air strike on Monday which claimed the lives of over 16 civilians, including women and children.

The statement described the attack as "one of the deadliest attacks on children since the conflict in Yemen escalated in March 2015".

"We all know that there is a war".

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Houthi forces later targeted Saudi Arabia's southern border area with a missile.

"Independent of the fact that there is a war, there are humanitarian obligations that are assumed by countries", he said. He also stressed the Kingdom's efforts to find a political solution to the Yemeni crisis and provide humanitarian relief and support to its people. We need unrestricted access everywhere inside Yemen and we need all the parties to the conflict to respect worldwide humanitarian law, and to protect civilians.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supplying missiles to the Houthis, who have taken over the Yemeni capital Sanaa and other parts of the country. "I urge all parties to engage with my new Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay", Guterres said.

"Funding won't help if the assistance doesn't reach the people in need, and lack of humanitarian access remains a key obstacle to organizations working in Yemen", said Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate.

Last week the Houthis launched a flurry of missiles which Saudi Arabia said it had intercepted over Riyadh. "In addition, commercial imports, which account for most of Yemen's food, fuel, and medicine, must have the same freedom of movement".

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