At its meeting of the Council of Ministers on 11 September 2019, the Austrian Federal Government decided to disburse humanitarian funds.

One million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund is to go to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

"Austria is thus consistently continuing its humanitarian commitment," said Foreign Minister Schallenberg. "The funds made available to UNICEF are intended to give children in Yemen access to preventive health care, school education and psychological support.

Background

According to the United Nations, Yemen is experiencing the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world.

Millions of people are starving, more than 10,000 people have already been killed in the conflict, including thousands of civilians. Non-governmental organisations speak of a far higher number of deaths.

There is a lack of food and health care in particular. The armed conflict that has continued since March 2015 has caused a catastrophic humanitarian emergency in Yemen.

Some 24.1 million people now need humanitarian aid and protection, or 80% of the population.

More than half of the population cannot feed without aid, according to a report by the European Commission's Humanitarian Office (ECHO); 12 million people, including 7 million children, depend on food aid. In the World Hunger Index 2018, the food situation in Yemen falls into the category "very serious".

This puts Yemen third last in the country ranking of 119 countries.

The situation is aggravated by recurrent fighting, limited access by aid organisations, blockades of ports and other supply locations. Medicine, medical supplies and equipment are scarce.

Almost half of all health facilities are non-functional, and almost 19 million people lack access to health services.

According to ECHO, 17 million people are at risk of water shortages and access to sanitation. There are also over 3.6 million internally displaced people, including 1.7 million children who have fled violence.

The dramatic situation in Yemen has serious consequences, especially for children. Many children die of preventable diseases and malnutrition. In addition, there is a high number of cases of cholera and diphtheria.

In 2019, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched a revised USD 535.6 million appeal for aid to Yemen. Activities include health care (including immunization), nutrition, access to education, and psychosocial support and protection of children. As part of the humanitarian

UNICEF is also responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

The humanitarian aid provided by the European Union (Commission and Member States) has amounted to EUR 430 million since 2015.

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