UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) – The United Nations has stepped up its battle against starvation in Yemen with a UJS$32 million transfer of funds from its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to the humanitarian relief effort in the war-scarred country.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley announced the contribution here at UN Headquarters.
“The funds will allow WFP to ramp up humanitarian logistical operations, including increases in humanitarian air cargo, transport more humanitarian workers, provide more accommodation spaces, including in Hodeidah, and expand emergency telecommunications,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
The funds will also support the work of UN agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations engaged in the humanitarian relief operations, Mr Dujarric said.
“Across Yemen, courageous humanitarians are already helping millions of people, but the needs are even greater,” Mr Beasley said. “The WFP is scaling up to increase its assistance from 8 million people a month to 12 million a month and this contribution from the CERF will help make that happen.”
“WFP provides outstanding logistical support, including transport, accommodation and communications support for many aid agencies, and this allocation will finance an urgent extension of those services,” Mr Lowcock said.
They both welcomed the recent decisions made in the capital of Sanaa to provide more visas for humanitarian workers, to investigate allegations of theft of food aid and to punish those responsible, the spokesman said.
“The scale-up in the humanitarian operation aims to reach the most vulnerable people in priority districts, including internally displaced people, with the full range of life-saving assistance that is required in the world’s largest humanitarian emergency,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.
“The rapid infusion of funds complements funding from the Yemen Humanitarian Fund in support of front-line responders,” it added.