In response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation, Ignazio Cassis reaffirmed his support for the people of Yemen at a donor conference co-chaired by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Sweden and Switzerland. He called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and underlined Switzerland's support for the UN-led peace process. "We need to find more sustainable ways to create opportunities for the Yemeni people. This means forging close links between humanitarian aid, development, human rights and peace activities," he said. This is the first time that Mr Cassis has attended the donor conference in his capacity as Vice President.
Switzerland has pledged CHF 14 million to support the activities of humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC and United Nations World Food Programme. Switzerland's support will focus primarily on water, sanitation, food security and civilian protection. Participants from 53 countries, including representatives from international organisations and NGOs, made pledges at the conference, which was held online.
World's worst humanitarian crisis
In addition to funding, Switzerland is providing experts for humanitarian organisations and UN agencies on the ground. Switzerland requires these organisations to have clearly defined objectives and allocation margins to ensure that operations are effective and efficient and to allow improvements to be made where necessary.
The armed conflict that erupted in 2015 has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis, leaving over 20 million people, 67% of the Yemeni population, in acute need of humanitarian assistance. The COVID-19 crisis and other epidemics have only aggravated the situation. Yemen is also in the midst of a massive migration crisis involving 4 million internally displaced persons, with devastating consequences for health, nutrition and children's education.