Following the United Nations renewed flash appeal for $1.6 billion U.S. dollars in funds to help civilians in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates announced a pledge of over $81 million (Dh300 million) towards relief operations and ongoing development programs in Yemen to be administered by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC). United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien lauded the effort, stating, "I welcome the pledge made by the UAE towards the Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen and the generosity of the Emirati people. In response of the appeal, I hope others will follow suit".
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire. Approximately 21 million people are in need of some kind of humanitarian assistance; The UAE's Minister of International Cooperation and Development, Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi said of the allocation, "This pledge comes at a crucial time for Yemen with conditions for the elderly, men, women, and children continuing to deteriorate. Humanitarian relief is a top priority for the UAE and we are working with our UN partners to ensure protection of civilians in Yemen and that aid can be delivered to so many who need it."
On behalf of the UAE government, Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs called for "full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216 in order to end the humanitarian suffering in Yemen and restore the legitimate Yemeni government." He added, "the UAE supports the work of UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed," and highlighted the need for full access to ports in order for aid to reach those affected by the crisis.
The UAE, through Humanitarian City located in Dubai, serves as a key facility for aid directed towards Yemen given its proximate location. The aid hub is the largest of its kind and has helped reduce transit times from several months to just weeks.