Hungry for Change in Yemen: Press Release

27th September 2012
“Hungry for change in Yemen”
The world needs to recognise the urgent humanitarian need of Yemeni’s today.
The one day fast action supported by the Yemen Peace Project, Independent Yemen Group, Yemen Relief & Development Forum and The Yemeni American Coalition for Change, was initiated to help bring a wider understanding of the crisis.  As civil society organisations and members of the Yemeni diaspora communities from around the world come together, in recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. An initiative to raise awareness of the catastrophic crises in Yemen was launched on the 20th September 2012.
According to civil society organizations, the humanitarian crisis threatens to derail Yemen’s transition process. More than 10 million people—44.5 percent of the population—face critical food insecurity. People are without enough food to eat, tens of thousands of IDPs are unable to return to their homes. In Hodeidah and Hajjah provinces, one in three children is malnourished, which is double the emergency level. The UN agencies estimate 267,000 Yemeni children are facing life-threatening levels of malnutrition.
At the Friends of Yemen meeting in New York today we ask donors to respond now before the crisis deepens. A generous $6.4bn was pledged at the previous Friends of Yemen meeting in Riyadh. These pledges need to be turned into actions and money must be allocated to humanitarian aid, keeping people alive. So far, the headline-grabbing pledges have yet to materialise. People cannot survive on empty words, nor will funding restricted for security infrastructure save a child from starvation. The forgotten people of Yemen need action and “keeping promises” is an act of humanity that will save lives of women and children in one of the world’s most under-developed countries. Funding the UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan now will take around 4% of the billions already pledged and will deliver life-saving aid.
Yemen’s President Hadi appealed to friendly countries to make up the shortfall in the UN appeal, in his statement to the UN General Assembly yesterday.
Nageeb Ali, Chairman of the Yemen Relief and Development Forum (YRDF)said,
“Today, we are fasting in solidarity with our people in Yemen, who are facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation. We need to make sure that we show our full commitment to eradicate hunger in Yemen.  For us to envisage a brighter future the international community will need to work with Yemeni civil society organisations, delivering both development and relief projects, as the two will need to work in tandem giving hope and expanding people’s horizons”
Will Picard, Executive Director of the Yemen Peace Project (YPP), said
“Yemen is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented scale, and it needs the help of the international community to survive. When the Friends of Yemen group meets in New York on September 27, our fast will remind the assembled ministers, diplomats, and civil society leaders that the people of Yemen are counting on their support in this most difficult time. By joining us in fasting or skipping lunch, you can demonstrate your commitment to eradicating hunger in Yemen”
Safa Mubgar Chair of Independent Yemen Group (IYG)said:
“We urge the international community to stand with the people of Yemen at a time of need. As Yemen works to overcome its challenges, Yemeni civil society organisations are working to rebuild their capacity, enabling them to save lives. They are delivering workable programs in the country, building an accountable society which is able to overcome patronage and corruption, and fight the festering evils of poverty and hunger. International efforts and aid at this juncture must focus on providing these credible organisations with the necessary support to help Yemen move forward. Without a well targeted and sustainable programme to help Yemenis, the state of Yemen will remain weak and vulnerable to rogue elements.”
Summer Nasser Member of the Yemeni American Coalition for Change (YACC) said:
“At such an important and crucial time period in Yemen, we urge the international community to support residents in Yemen during the disastrous humanitarian crisis that has effected more than 10 million children and adults. Today, on September 27thof 2012, we will fast in solidarity with the people of Yemen to assure them that their voices are being heard. On this day, we hope to bring attention to a dilemma that has haunted Yemen and its people for many years. We call upon leaders in and out of Yemen, diplomats, civil societies and its leaders to join us to stand with the millions who are suffering on a daily basis because of this catastrophe.”

About Summer Nasser
Blogger, with Yemeni roots based in New York City. Student of Sociology (B.A.) with a focus on the country of Yemen. I would consider myself a student of knowledge.

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