The Foreign Ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Yemen recently held a meeting on the sidelines of UNGA 70 with the heads of leading humanitarian agencies to discuss partnership in delivering humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, along with Adel Al-Jubeir of Saudi Arabia, Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah of Qatar and Riyad Yassin of Yemen, emphasised that the objective of the meeting was to coordinate efforts, increase efficiency, and explore existing challenges to delivering humanitarian assistance within Yemen.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed reaffirmed the UAE’s readiness to have all proposals carefully evaluated by the relevant entities.
The foreign ministers underlined their commitment to achieving stability and prosperity in Yemen as well as alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people. “A life is a life, we want to help them all,” said Adel Al-Jubeir. He also affirmed the readiness of the ministers to hear from the humanitarian agencies on how they can help ensure that humanitarian aid reaches civilians throughout Yemen.
The Yemeni Foreign Minister, Riyad Yassin, reconfirmed that all Yemeni ports are open and can receive humanitarian aid or for commercial activity that would be subject to inspection in accordance with International law. They also welcomed the efforts of international agencies, including the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism, UNVIM.
The ministers emphasised their governments’ efforts to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid throughout all of Yemen, including Sanaa, Hudaida, and Ta’iz, as well as stressing the need for a stronger presence of humanitarian agencies on the ground.
Along with the funding that has been provided to international humanitarian aid agencies, the ministers noted their governments’ significant humanitarian aid activities throughout Yemen including water and sanitation services, medical support, food distribution, infrastructure repair, and funding and training for local police.
The ministers stressed that the overriding objective for Yemen is to facilitate a political solution based on UN Security Council Resolution 2216 for 2015, that can bring stability to the country. They also underlined their long-term commitment to building the economy and enabling a self-reliant Yemen.
The ministers welcomed the recommendations advanced by the humanitarian agencies.
Also in attendance was Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, who paid tribute to the generosity of the governments of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, as well as others in the region, for their donations to the humanitarian efforts in Yemen. He said that unlike the other areas in need of humanitarian assistance, Yemen is one of the few cases that are not short of funds. He also provided his recommendations for addressing the humanitarian needs of Yemeni civilians. Similarly, other humanitarian agencies, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations Development Fund, World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme, also presented their recommendations on improving the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
Ten humanitarian agencies were represented: the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF , World Food Programme, WFP, World Health Organisation, WHO, International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Rescue Committee, IRC, and Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO.