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[SATURDAY, 30 MAY 2020] Ahead of the humanitarian pledging conference for Yemen on 2 June, the Southern Transitional Council delegation in Riyadh, led by President Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, have continued with important discussions with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the situation in South Yemen. At the forefront of these consultations has been addressing the COVID-19 threat spreading rapidly across the country, alleviating the humanitarian situation, and in parallel advancing toward political progress for the Southern people.

The STC is gravely concerned about the imminent threat of COVID-19 in South Yemen. The death toll among civilians – dozens daily – will continue to rise as the Coronavirus outbreak expands in the South governorates, in addition to a myriad of other diseases endemic to Aden and other parts of the South. These developments are taking place while the health infrastructure is virtually debilitated and basic services are suffering.

The STC’s position remains that only a comprehensive approach will address the root causes of the suffering in the South. This is why we have presented concrete proposals based on the work of our Relief & Humanitarian Action Committee to solve issues of salaries for civil servants, electricity, and water, and sanitation with the support of our regional partners. STC teams have been working diligently to restart and sustain basic services where possible but much more is needed. In this regard, the STC in particular welcomes the crucial support provided by Saudi Arabia towards the electricity plants in Aden.

Against this backdrop, we welcome the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Nations in convening the humanitarian pledging conference. We further echo the statement by principles of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, on 28 May, calling for generous and prompt payment of pledges by Member States. UN programs providing aid and relief to all Yemenis, already under strain, cannot go on without funding. Our people simply cannot afford this. We must ensure that the humanitarian response in the South and nationwide is sustained and strengthened to cover the new realities on the ground.

The humanitarian situation is and should be the collective priority for us all. The STC is intensifying efforts and working with all partners, including UN Agencies, local groups and civil society, and iNGOs carrying out significant efforts, to facilitate humanitarian and development assistance to and via the South. In parallel, we remain committed to an inclusive political solution and are ready to move on concrete steps toward such a solution.  As we have stated repeatedly, an inclusive negotiated outcome with genuine Southern participation from the onset is the only solution to the suffering we are experiencing today once and for all.

Southern Transitional Council

General Department of Foreign Affairs


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