’World Humanitarian Day is an important reminder that we are living in dramatic times. The world is experiencing large-scale humanitarian crises, and 60 million people have been forced to flee from their homes. Today, I am pleased to announce that Norway will provide a further NOK 50 million for Yemen and a number of forgotten crises,’ Foreign Minister Børge Brende said.
World Humanitarian Day was established by the UN to draw attention to humanitarian crises and to highlight the tremendous efforts made by aid workers in the face of adversity and danger throughout the world.
Aid efforts for Yemen are seriously underfunded. More than 21 million Yemeni people – some 80 % of the population – are dependent on humanitarian aid, but only 18 % of the amount called for in the UN appeal for emergency relief has been provided.
’The Government is providing an additional NOK 20 million in aid to Yemen. If the international community fails to provide humanitarian aid, Yemen is one of the vulnerable states with vast humanitarian needs where a large-scale refugee crisis could quickly develop,’ said Mr Brende.
Not all serious crises receive equal attention.
’There are serious humanitarian crises in a number of countries that are not receiving the attention they deserve. The situation in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo or the Sahel, where more than 28 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, shows how urgently help is needed. The Government is today providing NOK 30 million in aid to help alleviate forgotten humanitarian crises,’ Mr Brende said.
The funds for Yemen and forgotten crises will be channelled through Norwegian and international NGOs, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN.
World Humanitarian Day is held on 19 August because it was on this day in 2003 that the UN headquarters in Baghdad was bombed and 22 people, most of them UN personnel, lost their lives.