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Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: "The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is reaching catastrophic proportions with 80% of the population now in need of assistance. Humanitarian pauses are vital to enable humanitarian workers and organisations to deliver much needed aid. These pauses must be granted unconditionally by all the parties to the conflict. Furthermore, I reiterate my call to the fighting sides to adhere to International Humanitarian Law by protecting civilians. "
Out of the €12 million, €10 million will be used to provide for nutrition, food, health, water, sanitation, shelter, emergency household supplies and protection to the vulnerable people in Yemen. €2 million – €1 million each for Djibouti and Somalia – will go specifically towards helping thousands of refugees and returnees fleeing from Yemen to countries of the Horn of Africa.
More than four months into the current conflict, there are severe shortages of water, food, medicines and fuel across Yemen, adding to the insecurity caused by regular airstrikes and fighting on the ground. The influx of Yemeni refugees and Somali returnees fleeing to neighbouring Djibouti and Somalia has meanwhile stretched to the limit the capacities of these already fragile countries to host them.
Government institutions are no longer able to deliver basic services to people in need, including basic health care and nutrition services, water and electricity supply. Lack of fuel is hampering the processing and transportation of food; import of basic food items and medicine has significantly reduced since the start of the conflict due to the import restrictions.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab Peninsula. Over 47% of the population lives below the poverty line on less than €2 a day. It has the world's third highest rate of malnutrition. Conflict combined with poverty, refugee and migrant flows and rising food prices, have aggravated an already serious humanitarian crisis during the last year.