BY JULIA MUELLER – 02/27/23 12:01 PM ET
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday pledged more than $444 million in additional aid to Yemen as it faces what the
secretary called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” of conflict, economic instability, food insecurity and other issues.
“As one of the largest donors, this brings our total to the humanitarian response in Yemen to over $5.4 billion since the conflict began. The United States’ commitment to alleviating the suffering of millions from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains resolute,” Blinken said in a statement.
The secretary said the new millions in aid are “exemplifying the continued generosity of the people of the United States for the people of Yemen.”
The United Nations has estimated that $4.3 billion needs to be raised to “reverse a steady deterioration across the country,” and Blinken on Monday urged donors to “give generously” in order to meet that benchmark.
“While today’s pledges are important, much more is needed,” Blinken said, noting the U.N. assessment that two out of every three Yemenis need humanitarian assistance.
But the secretary stressed humanitarian assistance “must also be complemented by economic and development support” to Yemen’s destabilized economy.
“More than eight years of conflict have pushed Yemen’s economy and institutions to the brink. Families have been left unable to buy basic goods, provide for their children, or access healthcare. The United States continues our efforts to help stabilize Yemen’s economy and restore basic services and livelihoods,” Blinken said.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday that “the international community has the power and the means to end the crisis in Yemen” and re-upped the international organization’s fundraising appeal.
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The U.N. on Monday hosted the Yemen Conference 2023, described as a “high-level pledging event” to seek international help in raising awareness of the crisis, protecting existing improvements, mobilizing support and calling for an end to the conflict.
Blinken on Monday described a “glimmer of hope” in spite of the bleak humanitarian picture, saying that Yemen “is experiencing the best opportunities for peace in years” amid the ongoing fighting within the country.
“Building on the momentum from the UN-mediated truce, the parties now have the chance to end this war. The international community must do everything we can to help – including through strong support to the Yemen humanitarian response – to build further positive momentum and ensure Yemenis see the tangible benefits peace can bring,” Blinken said.