Intervention at the UN 2018 Yemen High-Level Pledging Event
by U.S. Agency for International Development Counselor Thomas H. Staal
April 3, 2018
Thank you very much, Your Excellency Mr. Maurer, and to Your Excellency Ms. Lövin, and to the United Nations for hosting this important event.
As has been stated by several speakers today, Yemen is suffering, probably, the world’s largest and most urgent humanitarian crisis.
That is why today, the United States is announcing nearly $87 million in additional humanitarian assistance. This will help provide food and enable continued support for safe drinking water, shelter, protection, and medical care for Yemenis in need.
This brings the total U.S. humanitarian contribution for the last year and a half, since October 2016, to more than $854 million, and we remain committed to addressing the ongoing humanitarian needs in the coming weeks and months.
In addition, we are in the process of providing $55 million in economic and development assistance, which pending Congressional approval will help lay a stronger foundation for Yemen’s future by funding programs that support livelihoods, restore essential services like water, and provide education so children can learn and prepare for the future.
We commend those here today for joining us in making generous, additional pledges.
In particular, we extend our gratitude to the Governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their significant contributions to the United Nations’ coordinated response.
But, our dollars alone are not enough.
To actually provide life-saving aid, three things need to happen.
First, goods must be able to enter Yemen’s ports and, once in Yemen, flow freely to those in need.
And that’s why we continue to urge all parties to allow humanitarian and commercial goods, including fuel, to enter Yemen through all ports of access and move unhindered throughout the country.
Second, we need those ports to be used.
The United States funded mobile cranes at Hudaydah port, which could cut the average time it takes to unload ships in half.
With this port open — as we heard from our Saudi colleagues — secure and equipped with the tools it needs to efficiently receive humanitarian supplies, it must now be used fully.
Third, humanitarian workers must be able to move freely and deliver food and services to those in need throughout the country.
The United States will continue to push hard for protections and access for civilians and for humanitarian aid workers.
While the United States will continue to provide much needed aid, no amount of humanitarian or development assistance will end this conflict and the suffering of millions.
An enduring solution will only come through a comprehensive political agreement, which will require compromise from all sides. To that end, we support the UN Special Envoy’s efforts to restart talks.
I know this is a sentiment all governments here share. I thank you for your partnership as we work together to bring peace, prosperity, and security to Yemen.