Crucial to Yemen’s recovery is support for the country’s civil servants, many of whom have not received their salaries for several months, amid the conflict between the legitimate government and the Houthi coup militia, the top UN humanitarian official in Yemen, David Grisley, said on Monday.
He stressed that the ongoing conflict and violence across Yemen continues to severely impact the country’s population, who are in dire need of an end to the fighting, so that they can rebuild their lives.
Grisley stressed the importance of finding ways to support these civil servants because they have been key to the country’s recovery – and the UN’s assistance programmes. Without them, he said, “the entire humanitarian response” could become more expensive.
The ongoing conflict and violence across Yemen continues to severely impact the country’s population, who desperately need an end to the fighting, so that they can rebuild their lives.
“I saw the destruction of schools, factories, roads and bridges. I saw the destruction of energy systems, so what made Yemen work seven years ago in many cases no longer exists,” said David Gressly, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen.
Speaking in Geneva after a weekend car bomb explosion at Aden airport, killing 25 people and wounding 110, the veteran aid worker warned of the recent escalation of fighting in the oil-rich northern province of Ma’rib.
“This now adds to more displacement in that area, where there are already over a million displaced people. And secondly, we have pockets where the fighting continues and we cannot support them,” he said.
Long-standing concerns about a possible famine in the country prompted the launch of a UN-led funding appeal for $3.6 billion in March, which has raised nearly $2.1 billion so far.
An additional $500-600 million was also pledged in the margins of the general debate of the 76th session of the General Assembly, Grisley added, noting that although the international response was higher than that of other emergencies, “it was particularly focused – and we We understand the reason – on the food security and nutrition side, of the most immediate life-saving response.”
This made the situation inside Yemen “very fragile and if we don’t support that, if we don’t get the new pledges on time…in 2022, we’ll be back to where we were in March,” Gressly stressed.
He explained that people need more than emergency care, adding that “health, education, water, access, support for IDPs and livelihood support; almost all are funded with less than 20 per cent, so while saving lives is important, we cannot and cannot ignore the rest ( needs).