Canadian aid organizations applaud Canada for significant funding for Yemen crisis, call for an end to military assistance to parties to the conflict

In response to Canada’s commitment of funding at the third High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, the CEOs of Save the Children Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Quebec and CARE Canada, today released the following joint statement:

Today, governments took a welcome step to alleviate the suffering of millions of people who are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, by pledging $2.6 billion so far. We welcome the Government of Canada’s announcement of an additional $46.7 million for the humanitarian response in Yemen, which according to the UN, represents triple the amount pledged previously. Our organizations welcome the focus on life-saving nutrition, medical and clean water needs alongside the critical prioritization of the urgent needs of women and girls, including the provision of sexual and reproductive health services and accountability for sexual and gender-based violence, which impacts on women and girls disproportionately. Investing in these areas is essential to saving lives and reducing the long-term damaging impact of the conflict on women and girls.

Despite Canada’s leadership, donors’ collective pledges are a long way from the $4.2 billion USD that are needed to support an estimated 24 million people in Yemen – almost 80% of the population – who need humanitarian assistance in 2019, many of whom are hovering on the brink of famine. Our organizations would like to see similar commitments to Canada’s from other members of the international community, and encourage Canada and other donors to invest in early recovery and longer term development programming to strengthen the resilience of the Yemeni people, allowing them to plan for a future beyond this war.

We welcome Canada’s leadership on gender-responsive humanitarian action, and the financial contributions to humanitarian assistance, and stand ready to scale up our activities in Yemen.

We also recognize that financial support on its own is not enough. We welcome Canada’s continued calls for respect for international humanitarian law, and for unimpeded humanitarian access – this is gravely needed. Also required is for those countries providing military assistance to warring parties in Yemen, including Canada, to stop these deals with immediate effect and put in place strong monitoring and accountability mechanisms, so that devastating weapons will no longer kill and injure civilians in Yemen. Arms and other forms of military assistance must stop flowing to parties to the conflict in Yemen, and political negotiations need to be supported by all involved in this conflict.

We are pleased with Canada’s continued support towards the implementation of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement, including Canada’s contributions to monitoring any violations of the ceasefire. It is critical that we see a countrywide ceasefire, protection of humanitarian workers and an inclusive peace agreement – with women and youth having a seat at the table. Only an end to hostilities can truly end the suffering of the Yemeni people. They do not have the luxury to wait for peace any longer – they are dying every single day this war continues.

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