Billions needed to prevent famine in Yemen

The United Nations wants to raise $3.85 billion (โ‚ฌ3.15 billion) at a donors‘ conference for Yemen on Monday to avert a famine, says UN Emergency Aid Coordinator Mark Lowcock. At the same online meeting, the Red Cross will call for more money and for a political solution to the conflict, says a spokesman.


bloody civil war has been raging in Yemen since 2014. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels then got control of the capital Sanaa and much of the north. The war escalated after Saudi Arabia came to the aid of the government. Eight out of ten Yemenites depend on emergency aid.

Juriaan Lahr, Head of International Aid for the Dutch Red Cross, said: โ€œMore than 80% of the population is lost, but also affected by serious food shortages. The cost of food has risen enormously. The price of rice, milk, oil and salt, for example, has increased by 60%. More and more people can’t buy food anymore. We do what we can, but we need more money to continue providing emergency assistance.โ€

14 million people

Lahr emphasises that over 14 million people need acute help, especially mothers and children. โ€œThere are almost no drugs left.โ€ Last week, the Red Cross opened giro 5125 to raise money for the rising food shortage worldwide.

Belgium is releasing EUR 5 million for aid to Yemen, the Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation announced Meryame Kitir on Sunday. โ€œThis is the time to show international solidarity. Certainly in these coronatians that are felt much harder in a country like Yemen, we must take action,โ€ says Kitir.

Too little support

Last year there was also a fundraising action by the UN, but it only yielded a little more than half of what is needed. Aid organizations have had to reduce the distribution of food. Instead of the 13 to 14 million people who were previously cared for each month, the money was only enough for 9 million people. Lowcock claims to be convinced that as the humanitarian situation stabilizes, the prospect of a political solution grows.