UN Central Emergency Response Fund releases its largest-ever allocation of $50 million to meet rapidly growing humanitarian needs in Yemen

Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock today released an allocation of US$50 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to enable scale up of urgent life-saving assistance in Yemen. This allocation will help stave off the growing risk of famine, mitigate the impact of an accelerated collapse of public services and assist the civilians affected by the recent escalation in conflict.

“I remain deeply concerned by the deterioration in the humanitarian situation – a catastrophe made worse by recent increases in fighting and airstrikes.” said Mr. Lowcock. “I approved today the largest-ever allocation by the CERF – $50 million – to rapidly bolster the response. These funds will help to save lives.”

This allocation has been designed to complement the recent allocation of $68 million from the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF), based on the prioritization of activities led by the Humanitarian Coordinator.

CERF intervention will focus on an integrated, comprehensive food, nutrition, safe water and health support in 27 high-priority districts at risk of famine as well as on responding to worsening diphtheria outbreak. In districts experiencing high levels of displacement, CERF allocation will enable partners to provide emergency shelter, essential items and protection for vulnerable IDPs or returnees. CERF will also help deliver basic needs and essential items to mitigate the impact of recent escalation in  conflict along the western coast, in particular for people unable to flee these conflict areas.

In 2017, CERF released $25.5 million as part of an early funding initiative to avert famine. However, more people are now reliant on emergency assistance as a result of intensified fighting, interruptions in commercial shipping in 2017, pandemic outbreaks and an accelerating collapse in public services.

“This substantial funding is only made possible thanks to the generous support of CERF’s donors, enabling the fund to hit a record high income of $513 million in 2017. This allocation will save many lives and alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable. “said Lowcock.

CERF is a critical enabler of effective, timely and life-saving humanitarian action, helping front-line partners on the ground to kick-start or reinforce emergency activities. A larger CERF is urgently needed to ensure a responsive and effective humanitarian system against the ever-growing needs.