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Statement of Estonia at the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

25.04.2017


Statement by H.E. Mr. Andre Pung, Permanent Representative of Estonia

Geneva, 25 April 2017


Thank you, Chair.

Please allow me to start by thanking the governments of Switzerland and Sweden for organizing this very timely Pledging Event. Estonia would also like to extend its gratitude to the speakers this morning for sharing with us their thoughts on the situation in Yemen and for their political leadership in this important matter. We consider today’s conference of crucial significance in drawing attention to the very real risks of famine and in making sure the human suffering in Yemen will not be ignored. 


The humanitarian situation as a result of the political conflict in Yemen is deeply worrying, with more than two thirds of the country’s population needing humanitarian assistance. More than 10 million people – a number as huge as the seven-fold of Estonia’s population - require immediate assistance today in order to sustain their lives for tomorrow. It is also of concern that Yemen's civilian infrastructure and institutions have been heavily affected by the war and are increasingly unable to deliver basic services. Moreover, it is the vulnerable groups, such as women and children that are particularly affected by the on-going hostilities and the humanitarian crisis. As many have reiterated today, the crisis in Yemen is currently the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world and needs the international community’s urgent attention – and action.


We note, however, that this dire situation and the outlook on famine results from a man-made conflict, and inclusive political solutions are urgently needed. The international community can do more to avoid the outbreak of famine by stepping up their efforts. Above all, we are concerned regarding the immense protection gaps and deepening food insecurity of the Yemeni population. There is an urgency to reach the civilians in need with humanitarian aid, so that vital assistance can be delivered to the most vulnerable people without a delay.


Although there are no humanitarian solutions to political crises, the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen can be averted through humanitarian assistance. Yet, we also note the alarming gap in the funding of the Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen in 2017 and recognise that more needs to be done. Estonia is committed to contributing to improving the humanitarian situation of the people in Yemen and pledges 30’000 EUR through WFP in order to alleviate the alarming food insecurity in Yemen.


Thank you.


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