Ávarp ráðherra á framlagaráðstefnu vegna Jemen
1. mars 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we gather here today, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. The country is on the brink of a famine, a famine, which will be the most dire we have seen in decades, if not stopped.
The need for effective, efficient, and strategic funding for humanitarian operations in Yemen has therefore never been as urgent.
Iceland is committed to play its part, and today I am announcing a three-year pledge of a total value of 285 million Icelandic krona, or 95 million per year.
The funds will be directed through three of Iceland’s priority humanitarian partners, WFP, UNFPA and OCHA – all of which are playing a critical role in Yemen.
This year, the breakdown will be as follows:
- 25 million Icelandic krona will go to OCHA’s Yemen Humanitarian Fund, enabling OCHA to mobilise and channel resources to humanitarian partners based on critical needs of millions of Yemenis affected by the crisis;
- 30 million Icelandic krona will go to WFP which is providing food assistance to the most vulnerable, but malnutrition rates among women and children in Yemen are among the highest in the world; and
- 40 million Icelandic krona will go to UNFPA, which plays a leading role in protecting Yemeni women and girls from gender-based violence and maintaining their dignity and respect. It is a well-known fact that in times of crisis, women and girls are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence and exploitation as families and communities become dispersed and chaotic conditions contribute to a sense of lawlessness. It is, therefore, critical to provide funding for humanitarian actors such as UNFPA.
Iceland is a devoted human rights advocate, and as such I would also like to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of respect for international humanitarian law and unhindered humanitarian access in Yemen. It is absolutely vital that all aid agencies operating in the country can deliver effective assistance and that civilians are protected.
In closing, let me stress how the vicious cycle of violence in Yemen remains deeply concerning. The people of Yemen have suffered too much and too long. The conflict needs to be brought to an end through a durable political solution.