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[Brussels – 24 July 2020] The Southern Transitional Council welcomes the European Union and Sweden’s initiative to provide medical and essential supplies to Yemen through a humanitarian air bridge to Aden and Sana’a. The STC further welcomes the allocation of an additional €70 million to bolster humanitarian assistance across Yemen. This support builds on the EU’s continued efforts to support all Yemenis at a critical juncture in the conflict and the COVID-19 battle.

The humanitarian and COVID-19 needs across Yemen remain dire, particularly in the South where the infrastructure and access to basic services has been dangerously weakened. We are grateful for the generous contributions made during the UN Humanitarian Pledging Conference in June, but reiterate the importance of increased support to meet the needs of the humanitarian response plan for Yemen through the end of the year. The EU’s air bridge and extra humanitarian assistance shows leadership, and we urge other international partners to demonstrate the same.

Additionally, the STC stresses its commitment to facilitate and secure humanitarian access to the South and via the South to other parts of the country. We have provided such facilitation to UN agencies and NGO partners and will continue to do so. We look to the EU to work with the STC teams on the ground to ensure the quick, secure and effective delivery of aid to those who need it most. We stand firmly against any attempts to stop or hinder humanitarian and development assistance across Yemen: At this time, all assistance provided will be life-saving and help alleviate the overwhelming demand on the debilitated health care system.

The grave situation we are in ultimately requires a sustainable political solution to end the conflict and the suffering it has inflicted on our people. We therefore look to our European and international partners to intensify their efforts to enable an inclusive political process led by the UN to achieve a credible and viable solution. This must start with ensuring Southern representatives are at the negotiating table and that the Southern issue is a key element of the agenda for negotiations. The STC is engaging constructively to implement the Riyadh Agreement, including its political provisions, as a stepping stone to a resumption of UN talks. International support is equally important to safeguard the Riyadh process and its outcomes.

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