Yemen Is In Need Of Aid as well as Peace
Lise Grande, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, made a depressing statement that four years of ongoing conflict has forced Yemen to face the worst humanitarian crisis that the world has witnessed. This statement set the mood for the biggest appeal by a nation in the history of the UN.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia, in response, have once again showed their support towards Yemen and its people. Both countries have pledged $500 million each in humanitarian assistance. This comes in addition to the already $930 million vowed by the UAE to Yemen and an additional $70 million it has offered to UNICEF. These funds are of crucial significance to a nation in which, according to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Yemen Country Director, Stephen Anderson, half of the population depends entirely on food aid for survival.
Furnishing aid to suffering Yemenis is of superior importance. However, it is only a first step. Once secured, it is necessary that it is distributed justly and without obstruction. Innocent civilians must be safeguarded and have access to necessary services and supplies, irrespective of whether they are living under the rule of the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbu Mansur Hadi or caught in rebel-held territories.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General has provided guarantee that the sums raised for aid will reach those who need them the most and without bigotry. There won’t be any probity, and independence in the way the distribution, it would be affecting both areas i.e. managed by the government and areas governed by the Houthi rebels.
However, aid can only ever be a temporary measure, enforced as part of an extensive and more enduring strategy. The Stockholm agreement, a hard-won peace deal reached by representatives of Mr Hadi’s government and the Houthi rebels last November in the Swedish capital, has been repeatedly breached by Houthi rebels. It must now be followed. Providing real relief to the Yemeni people demands concrete steps on the ground and a strong commitment to attain the peace that has eluded their country for so long.