16 November 2018

Australia for UNHCR has launched an emergency appeal to support the UN Refugee Agency’s lifesaving work in Yemen.

Yemen is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe and famine, with 22.2 million people - more than 75 per cent of the country’s entire population - now requiring assistance or protection.

Almost four years of conflict in Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, has severely compounded needs arising from long years of poverty and insecurity. The economy has collapsed, key infrastructure such as health facilities and water systems have been destroyed, and acute malnutrition among children is on the rise. More than 2 million people have fled their homes.

This has become the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, said: “We are looking at literally hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people, who may not survive…. There is no other place in the world where people are suffering so greatly.”

UNHCR is on the ground across Yemen, delivering life-saving aid to displaced families who are now facing destitution and starvation. This includes shelter, emergency nutrition and urgent cash assistance to enable families to access food and crucial household items.

However, so far UNHCR only has 66 percent of the funding needed for its emergency response in Yemen, and is urgently calling for further support.

Fatma Salem Said Al Moqwit, a mother of four from Hudaydah in Yemen, said: “This conflict affects us all, but most of all the children. They are anxious and fearful. We don’t have anything. We don’t have shelter or food… We have to wait now. We are waiting to receive help.”

Australia for UNHCR National Director Naomi Steer said: “In Yemen, families are facing staggering poverty as a result of the conflict, and many are struggling to just survive. Australians have a proud record when it comes to generosity in times of crisis such as this – we call on Australians to again reach out to help families in desperate need.”

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For media enquiries please contact:

Mark Macdonald, Head of Communications, Australia for UNHCR - [email protected]
Wendy Bruere, Media & PR Officer, Australia for UNHCR - [email protected]

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