YEMEN continues to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world with over 22 million people – 75% of the population – in need of humanitarian assistance.
Mercy Corps’ new work, funded by the UK government, will help thousands of people who have had to flee from conflict in and around Hodeidah in northern Yemen to the cities of al Mokha and Dhubab.
Mercy Corps will provide these vulnerable people, many of whom now have no access to essential services, with life-saving access to over 73,000 litres of clean water every day. They will also help over 21,000 people buy vital food through cash transfers, which are one of the most effective and direct ways of helping communities facing crisis, like those displaced from Hodeidah.
Cash transfers work by providing a modest amount of cash to vulnerable families so that they can buy essential items such as food, water and medicine. This provides better value for money for UK taxpayers and gives recipients the dignity they deserve, with some research showing that £1 delivered through cash transfers can buy £1.20 worth of traditional aid.
The Minister for International Development, Alistair Burt, made the announcement during a visit to Mercy Corps’ offices in central Edinburgh.
Mr Burt said:
“It was great to visit Mercy Corps’ offices in Edinburgh this morning and hear more about how UK aid is helping their vital work in Yemen and throughout the world.
“The UK remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is the largest in the world. That’s why the UK was the second-largest donor to the UN Humanitarian Appeal last year.
“The conflict has forced thousands to leave their homes, jobs and livelihoods. Our support to Mercy Corps will put cash directly in the hands of 21,000 of some of the most vulnerable Yemenis, to make sure that they have enough money to buy the food and other essentials they need to survive.
“Ultimately only a political settlement can bring long-term stability to Yemen and end the humanitarian crisis, so peace talks are the top priority. We call upon all parties to join the UK in supporting the efforts being made by the United Nations to find peace for the sake of the Yemeni people and the security of Yemen’s neighbours.”
Simon O’Connell, Mercy Corps Executive Director said:
“At a time of unprecedented need in Yemen, UK Aid plays a vital role in helping Mercy Corps meet the emergency needs of families who have been forced to flee their homes. However, until there is a political solution to the conflict in Yemen, their suffering will not end.
“Humanitarian organisations, like Mercy Corps, need to be able to provide life-saving support safely and securely, and we must continue all efforts to protect the humanitarian space.”