Speech/statement | Date: 25/04/2017 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende (Geneva, 25 April)
- Norway is extremely concerned by the situation in Yemen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, said in his address at the donor conference. Norway pledges about USD 25 million in humanitarian funding to Yemen for 2017.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
- I would like to thank Sweden, Switzerland and the UN for hosting this important conference.
- Yemen is experiencing a humanitarian disaster.
- Two years of conflict has had a devastating impact.
- Every ten minutes in Yemen, a child under five dies from preventable diseases, because the health system is on the verge of collapse.
- Over seven million urgently need food assistance. There is a real danger of famine.
- Over 18 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance
- Norway is extremely concerned by the situation in Yemen.
- Not only are the humanitarian needs enormous, but lack of access to hard-to-reach and besieged areas is a huge obstacle for humanitarian efforts.
- This underlines the need for a political solution to the conflict.
- We urge the conflicting parties to take into consideration that Hodeidah is the main port for essential food and aid imports.
- All parties to the conflict must allow for humanitarian access in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, and ensure the safety of humanitarian workers.
- Today, Norway pledges NOK 212 million (about USD 25 million) in humanitarian funding to Yemen for 2017.
- We are also a large donor to the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund.
- Timely disbursement of pledges is important to close the financing gap.
- We are doing our utmost to disburse quickly, with funding to some key partners already disbursed or about to be disbursed.
- Securing access to education is key to the future of Yemen.
- During the war, 1.8 million children have had their school bombed or occupied.
- This is unacceptable. Schools are supposed to be places of hope and learning, not places of fear.
- Norway calls on all states to endorse and implement the Safe Schools declaration in order to prevent military use and protect education under attack.
- By making schools safer, we are protecting the future.
- It's the young generation of Yemen that must play the main role in rebuilding the country when the conflict is over.
- Finally, I would like to thank our partners – the UN, the Red Cross Movement and other civil society organisations for their work on the ground in Yemen.