High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen | 27-02-2023

Statement delivered by Ambassador H.E. Paul Bekkers, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Thank you Chair,

The UNSG, ministers in the panel, director of Oxfam and others have elaborately illustrated that the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen should not be forgotten and demands more funding. I would therefore like to thank Switzerland, Sweden and the United Nations for convening us today.

Our Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation was in Yemen in September, and she is vigorously motivated to have the Kingdom of The Netherlands continue the support the Yemeni people and to increase its contribution for this year.

To meet the growing humanitarian needs in the world, the Netherlands’ budget for humanitarian assistance has been raised significantly in 2023. The Netherlands will contribute 554 million euro, which is mainly flexible and multi-annual core funding, to UN organizations and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement to alleviate the needs of affected people worldwide. Of this budget, 30 million euro is directly for the people in Yemen through the Yemen Humanitarian Fund and Dutch NGO’s working in Yemen. On top of that, The Netherlands started multi-annual contribution with a commitment of 10 million euro for the next two years for the Yemen Humanitarian Fund.

Naturally that is all in addition to the contribution of the EU, of which we are a part.

Madam chair,

Allow me to briefly reflect on 2 specific issues.

First, the lack of humanitarian access in Yemen. We believe in the humanitarian principles with full access to the affected population by all humanitarian workers and women. The overall restrictions of movement – of organizations personnel or goods – imposed by both authorities hamper the delivery of humanitarian aid. The ability to deliver is compromised. It is therefore paramount to jointly consider – member states and donors alike – what steps can be taken to improve the access to the most vulnerable.

Secondly, let me add my voice to the ministers of Qatar, the UK and Finland on the FSO SAFER supertanker. Moored off the Red Sea coast of Yemen, the tanker is rapidly decaying, and could break up or explode at any time, unleashing a humanitarian and ecological catastrophe. For a country already decimated by more than eight years of war this would be a huge additional blow, which is preventable! Through the tremendous efforts of the UN and generous donations, including 15 million USD from The Netherlands, we are now closer than ever to preventing this catastrophe.

But we’re not there yet.

Madam chair, We speak a lot about prevention and anticipatory action. Well, we can’t make it more concrete than on this.  This is our chance to do so.

Thank you.