The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has concluded arrangements to rally the world to assist Yemen battle high-level humanitarian crisis.
The event, scheduled for June 2 will be hosted virtually by the Kingdom in partnership with the United Nations.
A statement from the Saudi Arabia information center, said that a total of USD 2.3 billion is being sought to cover emergency requirements in Yemen across multiple humanitarian sectors, including medical, food and shelter assistance.
The statement said that the event is the first virtual event of its kind to be held on this scale, and will be attended by top Saudi Arabian and United Nations officials.
Among the high-level attendees will be His Royal Highness, Faisal Bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs: António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Advisor – Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), and Mr. Mark, Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA).
Saudi Arabia said that it hopes to attract significant pledges to finance the 2020 Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan to bring relief to the estimated 24.3 million people in Yemen who are currently in acute need.
The United Nations has taken the unusual step of extending the implementation period of the existing plan from this June until the end of December 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Yemen has been the number one humanitarian priority for Saudi Arabia and KSrelief,” said Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of KSrelief. “COVID-19 has created new needs there, but is just the latest challenge in an already deteriorating situation. Yemen needs a lot of help, not least because of its weak health system. Saudi Arabia, through its strong partnership with the United Nations organizations, is determined to continue to help the Yemeni people, as it has consistently done since 2015.”
KSrelief provides impartial and independent assistance to Yemen and other countries.
To date, 60-70% of the Kingdom’s Yemen assistance has been channeled through the United Nations, always in line with the basic humanitarian principles of impartially and independence from economic, political, military or religious considerations.
The Kingdom’s ongoing assistance to Yemen is in line with its long history of commitment towards meeting the needs of the country and over the last 5 years, Saudi Arabia has provided nearly USD 17 billion in aid to Yemen, including humanitarian and development aid, support to the Central Bank of Yemen and comprehensive assistance to Yemenis living in the Kingdom.
In 2019, Saudi Arabia was the top donor country to Yemen, with contributions totaling USD 1.25 billion, or 31.1% of the total amount sought by the United Nations.
Since May of 2015, KSrelief and 88 humanitarian partners have implemented 474 projects across 12 humanitarian sectors, aid totaling USD 3 billion.
On COVID-19, Saudi Arabia has established a strategic plan to help countries and regions most in need. Yemen has one of the most fragile healthcare systems on the planet, and at the start of the pandemic, the Ministry of Health of Yemen received immediate support from the Kingdom through capacity-building, funding, and the provision of protective equipment and diagnostic supplies.
KSrelief has also worked with many international NGOs and non-UN partners to prevent the global spread of the pandemic.
Both KSrelief and the United Nations are hopeful that the June 2 event will result in pledges from donor countries to provide the urgent funding that is so crucial to alleviating the suffering of all Yemenis in need.