- Islamic Relief commits to spend $7.6 million at UN pledging conference for Yemen in Geneva
- Naser Haghamed Islamic Relief’s CEO to speak at the conference
All the funding in the world cannot solve the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen but it is urgently needed to save lives, Islamic Relief’s CEO Naser Haghamed, will tell international delegates at the UN pledging conference on Yemen in Geneva on Tuesday. At the conference, Islamic Relief will commit to spending $7.6m in 2019 to help those most in need – more than many countries have done.
Due to the conflict, parts of the country remain on the brink of famine and 80 percent of the population is dependent on some kind of aid to survive, with the humanitarian community asking donors to provide an additional $4bn of funding to keep life-saving operations running.
As one of the biggest distributors of food assistance in Yemen, Islamic Relief will be addressing the international meeting calling for urgently needed funds for nutrition, as well as full and unfettered access for aid agencies operating in the country where delivering aid remains extremely dangerous.
In his speech Naser Haghamed, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide, says:
“Almost all vital services and the economy have completely collapsed. Accessing even basic food staples like flour has become an unaffordable luxury for millions of people.
“Our staff have seen grown men carried into food distribution centres because they are too frail to stand and have grown delirious from thirst and hunger. Every single day we see hundreds of mothers bring their malnourished children into feeding centres, so weakened by hunger and preventable diseases like diarrhoea that they are not sure if they will make it through the day.
“The needs are so huge that our staff are often working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, just so that at least some of these children who come in too weak to cry or even move will be given a fighting chance to recover.”
However, with aid workers operating across the country, Islamic Relief knows all too well that funding is not the panacea for the huge crisis in Yemen today. Naser adds:
“To stop Yemen from starving today, donors should also use their influence on parties to the conflict to ensure that our aid agencies have full, unfettered access to people in need.
“All the money in the world cannot solve this crisis. Our battle to get aid to people who need it most is hampered every day by the extremely fragile security situation and the lack of humanitarian access. While the recent ceasefire in Hodeida has begun to ease tensions, the situation remains dire.
“Last month, one of our aid workers was killed by a stray bullet while trying to deliver aid. He had simply stopped at a garage on the side of the road to change a tire, but in Yemen even the simplest of every-day tasks can prove deadly. And if our aid workers are being put in a position where they are risking their lives doing the most basic of tasks – how can we ever hope to reach every family in need?”
Notes to Editor
Islamic Relief works with the World Food Programme to provide food to 1.8 million people every month across Yemen, including some half a million people in Hodeida alone.
We are also providing clean water, sanitation and vital health care for more than 230,000 people.