Belgium’s Development Cooperation Minister, Alexander De Croo, has earmarked 5.5 million euros in supplementary humanitarian aid for Yemen. The move came in response to a plea by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, who said “the humanitarian situation in Yemen is the worst in the world.”
The funds will go to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Since the start of the civil war in Yemen four years ago, Belgium has granted over 25 million euros in humanitarian aid to the Middle Eastern country.
According to the United Nations, more than 28,000 people have been killed in the conflict while millions of others have become refugees.
Lowcroft said “fully three-quarters of Yemenis – 75%, 22 million people – were in need of some kind of humanitarian assistance or protection […] more than 8 million of them severely food insecure […] and need emergency food assistance to survive.”
Should the current trend continue, up to 14 million people could find themselves in a situation of pre-famine in the coming months, Lowcroft warned.
For his part, Alexander De Croo reiterated his appeal to the regions, urging them to stop “fuelling the conflict with weapons”. Saudi Arabia, a major client of Belgian arms manufacturer FN Herstal, heads the coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“As long as we continue to fuel this conflict with weapons, the humanitarian disaster will not stop,” De Croo said. “It is up to each authority to take adequate measures.”