19 May 2020 — In response to the floods that hit Yemen in April, the European Union has released €160.000 in humanitarian aid to assist 17.500 of the most affected people.
This EU funding supports the Yemen Red Crescent in delivering much needed relief assistance, including blankets, mattresses, kitchen sets, hygiene kits and jerrycans. The support is part of the EU's overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
During the month of April, Yemen experienced heavy rains which caused flash floods in different governorates of the country requiring immediate relief. On 21 April, a tropical storm then hit the southern coast of Yemen, badly impacting Lahj, Aden, Taiz, Ad Dali’, Abyan and Hadramawt. At least 150,000 people were affected across 13 governorates, including 64,000 internally displaced people. A dozen people lost their lives.
Heavy rains were also reported in other governorates such as Sana'a, Amanat Alasimh, Hajja and Marib. The floods caused widespread damage to private and public property, including houses, vehicles as well as food stock. Some basic services have been cut in Aden city. Some roads and bridges were also destroyed, blocking access to the affected areas and temporarily disrupting humanitarian activities.
The floods come at a bad time. Already the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crisis, Yemen is experiencing a period of heightened tensions and propagation of the coronavirus. More than ever, humanitarian organisations need access to people in need – 80% of the population needs assistance -, but are hampered by insecurity, administrative and logistical restrictions as well as damages resulting from the conflict and floods. The EU continues to be one of the major contributors of humanitarian aid to Yemenis affected by war, epidemics and natural disasters.
The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.
Through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the European Union provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.
The European Union is signatory to a €3 million humanitarian delegation agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.
The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The delegation agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.