The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, has received a critical and timely donation of US$2 million from Qatar Charity to support vulnerable families that are internally displaced in Yemen.

With four out of five Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance, the money will go towards the cash assistance programmes of UNHCR to help provide lifesaving aid such as water, shelter and healthcare to those most in need.

The funding could not have come at a more appropriate time. As humanitarian catastrophe unfolds in Yemen and millions flee their homes to escape a devastating conflict, lack of funding amid the current COVID-19 outbreak has threatened the suspension of vital humanitarian relief programmes run by UNHCR in the country. The suspension of UN programmes due to a lack of funding would mean that many families will be left unsupported and not able to provide for themselves or their own family’s basic needs.

On World Refugee Day, as more people were forcibly displaced, the contribution from Qatar Charity and their continuing assistance is very critical. Together with UNHCR, they are enabling many families on the brink of hunger and poverty to live a more dignified life.

Speaking about the challenging situation in Yemen, Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor and Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries at UNHCR said they are committed to making a difference in the lives of displaced families in Yemen, to ensure that their basic needs are met.

This, however, has proven not only to be a daunting task but one that is near impossible to achieve considering the poverty and malnutrition situation, COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the ongoing conflict which has entered its sixth year, the disintegration of Yemen’s economy and the fact that only half of the country’s health facilities are operational. That said, Khalifa has emphasised the need to act now to find solutions and collectively strive to save lives.

With lack of funding threatening current relief programmes in Yemen, we are grateful for the donation received from Qatar Charity which we are confident will play a role in improving living conditions for thousands of Yemenis at these difficult times. At UNHCR we pride ourselves with the partnership we have with Qatar Charity.

Over the past decade, UNHCR has received almost US $45 million from Qatar Charity. The partnership is an example of the work that can be done in collaboration with organisations that are driven to take action and cause valuable change.

Discussing the donation provided to UNHCR, Qatar Charity CEO Yousef Al Kuwari, said they are honoured to provide UNHCR with the donation and especially on World Refugee Day, so they can continue the vital work they are doing in Yemen. World Refugee Day is observed on 20 June every year. He added that it is at times like these that the international community should come together in solidarity.

Witnessing the disruption that is happening has encouraged us to get involved and do all we can to support the cause. The people of Yemen are currently at the grip of cholera, a flooding season and war, and have been faced with so many obstacles in the midst of unimaginable times. We must do all we can to ensure they have access to critical lifesaving aid. We are pleased that this funding will go towards helping them and have an impact.

With 22.2 million Yemenis affected and in need of aid, there is a lot more work to be done. Without an urgent surge of support, millions of Yemenis will be left without assistance and even more vulnerable to the terrifying threat of COVID-19.

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