Australia provides $5 million to assist vulnerable women and children in Yemen
28 September, 2012
Australia is working with UNICEF in Yemen to address malnutrition levels, which are among the highest in the world. Photo: UNICEF / Ameen AlGhabri
Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles today announced $5 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen, bringing Australia’s total humanitarian contribution to more than $16 million since 2009.
Speaking at the Friends of Yemen Ministerial meeting in New York, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Richard Marles, said Australia was gravely concerned about the continuing food crisis in Yemen.
'An estimated 10 million people, roughly one-third of the population, are without secure access to food and other basics,' said Mr Marles.
Yemen’s malnutrition levels are among the highest in the world. In some parts of the country, one in three children are malnourished. Ten million Yemenis—nearly two fifths of the population—are food insecure.
Australia’s additional contribution will address an urgent call by the United Nations and the Yemeni government for food aid. $2.7 million dollars is assisting the World Food Programme to provide rice, wheat and sugar to more than 550,000 vulnerable people affected by escalating food prices.
A further $2.3 million has been provided through UNICEF to establish supplementary feeding programs for around 130,000 malnourished children aged five and under.
Protracted conflict and drought have resulted in extensive crop losses and destroyed the resources needed for food production. Up to 90 per cent of Yemen’s food is currently imported. Increases in global food prices since January 2011 have made it much harder for Yemeni families to provide for their children.
Yemen is also one of the most water-scarce countries in the world with 30 per cent of water supply systems not functioning.
Continuing violence is complicating humanitarian access and hampering the provision of emergency food aid, especially among displaced populations.
'I urge the international community to provide additional support to the Yemeni people to prevent the further escalation of the humanitarian crisis,' said Mr Marles.
Last Reviewed: 28 September, 2012