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Civil Society Statement for the Friends of Yemen

29th April, 2014

Media Contact Mohammed Ilyas | Desk 0121 446 5682 x 204 | Email mohammedilyas@islamichelp.org.uk

More than half the population of Yemen – some 14.7 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance. The country’s malnutrition rates are the second highest on the planet: more than one million children suffer from acute malnutrition, and around 4.5 million people are severely food insecure. Yet amidst so much need the UN’s $592 million 2014 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan is just 11% funded, and only 35.1% of the approximately $7.9 billion of financial assistance pledged for the country in 2012 has been disbursed.

Donors and the Government of Yemen must accelerate the disbursal process, in a fully transparent manner, so that Yemen can receive the financial support it urgently needs, funding must be made available for underfunded sectors like water and sanitation, education and protection, and all stakeholders must improve levels of cooperation and coordination to ensure that funding and programmes are delivered and implemented as effectively as possible.

The humanitarian community urges donors to continue to support efforts that increase and deepen levels of partnership and engagement between civil society, the Government of Yemen and the private sector, in line with Yemeni civil society organisations’ stated priorities for INGO engagement in Yemen going forward (as identified in a 2014 survey of Yemeni civil society organisations conducted by Humanitarian Forum Yemen).

Youth, women, marginalised groups and the Yemeni diaspora must be given an opportunity to participate – at both national and local levels – in consultations on Yemen’s future, including formally through the Friends of Yemen and the grouping’s future working arrangements. Women, in particular, must be consulted directly by donors regarding their needs and priorities, and women’s rights must be enshrined in Yemen’s new constitution, governance structures and legal frameworks.

A quarter of a million of those in need in Yemen are refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and other countries, including Syria. Their presence in Yemen’s urban areas has further stretched its under-resourced basic services, and heightened competition for already limited employment prospects. Donors must provide the necessary resources and support to effectively address refugees’ needs, and a long-term, durable solution to the plight of Yemen’s refugee population must be found.

Widespread poverty, chronic underdevelopment, sustained political instability, environmental stresses, demographic pressure and poor governance have all crippled Yemen. The security situation continues to deteriorate, affecting all aspects of livelihoods, 13 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation, and 8.6 million people lack basic health care services.

While immediate humanitarian assistance and support for recovery programming are vital, short-term aid alone cannot reverse such a deep-rooted crisis. Sustainable investment is required, and donors must ensure that their pledges facilitate long-term development through investment in basic services and infrastructure, community-based integrated water resource management, agricultural support, and initiatives that help Yemenis build livelihoods and withstand future droughts and other crises (36% of Humanitarian Forum Yemen survey respondents identified education, skills and vocational training as a top aid priority for 2014).

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Islamic Help Charity

Islamic Help is a UK registered charity that carries out humanitarian relief work and is committed to helping individuals from all walks of life. Islamic Help is committed to the reduction of poverty and its effects on individuals, communities and societies.

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