International Conference to be Held Next Month to Mobilize Humanitarian Support for Yemen

International Conference to be Held Next Month to Mobilize Humanitarian Support for Yemen

Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 08:15
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen addresses reporters upon her arrival to Sanaa Airport on Monday (AFP)
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat
The United Nations is preparing for an international conference to be held in Geneva next April to mobilize more humanitarian support for Yemen, said Lise Grande, the UN newly-appointed humanitarian coordinator in Yemen.

The announcement came during a press conference held by Grande upon her arrival at Sanaa airport from Riyadh, where she held meetings with the leadership of the Yemeni government to discuss obstacles imposed by Houthi rebels to impede the work of humanitarian organizations.

The UN official is expected to hold meetings with Houthi militia leaders in Sanaa in the hope that the group would abandon its methods of hampering humanitarian access in its areas of control.

The biggest humanitarian disaster in the world is now in Yemen, Grande said, noting that millions of Yemenis were relying on humanitarian aid to survive.

The UN humanitarian coordinator told the press conference that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres would hold an international conference on April 3 in Geneva to rally support and assistance to Yemen under the UN plan.

Non-governmental organizations and the United Nations need nearly $3 billion to address the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, of which $1 billion has come from donors, according to Grande.

She stressed that her priority was to focus on food insecurity, as some 17 million people were suffering from food shortage, as well as to work to tackle epidemics, including the cholera, which the UN fears could spread again this year after its decline.

The new UN coordinator in Yemen has a wide experience in humanitarian and relief work with the United Nations since 1994. She has previously served as the United Nations resident coordinator and representative of a UN development program in India. She was responsible for coordinating humanitarian affairs in Iraq during the last three years.

Lise Grande has also served in UN missions in Armenia, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Haiti, Palestine, Southern Sudan, Sudan and Tajikistan, in addition to her wide participation in UN peacekeeping missions.

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