STC WELCOMES OUTCOMES OF HUMANITARIAN PLEDGING CONFERENCE FOR YEMEN
[ADEN – 05 JUNE 2020] The Southern Transitional Council welcomes the generous contributions made by countries on 2 June to support humanitarian action across the South and Yemen. We, in particular, appreciate the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Nations in leading this effort. The $1.35 billion pledged comes at a critical time for our people faced with the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and a deadly COVID-19 threat.
We must stress, however, that additional funding will be needed if we are to truly secure the humanitarian response in the country. As it did globally, COVID-19 risks devastating the Yemeni economy even further and could drive us to famine at any time. A comprehensive and fully funded UN response is crucial to reaching all those in need and save lives. We urge all Member States to make extra financial commitments, including specific support for the South, to bring the total contributions closer to the $2.41 billion requested to meet the immense needs on the ground.
In this regard, the pledging conference is but a first step: Pledges need to be urgently turned into concrete aid and relief to all Yemenis. Further delays will only exacerbate the acute strain on UN programmes, particular COVID-19 response teams and other crucial work on the ground. In the South, the situation remains particularly dire with a debilitated healthcare system and infrastructure damage. This reality makes delivery of basic services like electricity and water nearly impossible, and heavy flooding in Southern governorates persists in wreaking havoc and raising the already concerning death toll from Coronavirus and other diseases. In Aden, we are witnessing the world’s highest mortality rate from the pandemic.
The STC is intensifying its activities to alleviate this suffering, but the scale of the crisis requires a concerted effort together with our regional and international partners to address the needs of the South. We are already in discussions with the UN Resident Coordinator and UN teams in Aden. The STC reiterates its readiness to work with partners to enable an effective COVID-19 and humanitarian response in the South. Our teams and Southern Self-Administration are committed to delivering against the needs of the people where we are able, within a very difficult context. Collaboration with the UN, governments, INGOs and the wider donor community are integral to this approach and serving the population in Southern governorates.
We in parallel renew our commitment to a political solution achieved through an inclusive UN-facilitated negotiation process. We are ready with proposals to progress the next steps needed to achieve this, as well as policy positions to contribute at the negotiating table. Only Southerners can credibly speak on behalf of the Southern cause, the realities in the South, and the way forward the Southern people seek.
Southern Transitional Council
General Department of Foreign Affairs