The European Union contributes €9.4 million to help vulnerable women and girls in Yemen

04 Oct 2022

Aisha, a pregnant internally displaced person (IDP) at a clinic in Ammar Bin Yasser camp in Yemen. New funding from the European Union will support the provision of emergency relief supplies among IDPs. © UNFPA/Alaa Noman

SANA'A, Yemen – The European Union (EU) is providing a €9.4 million humanitarian contribution to UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, to help protect and safeguard the lives of the most vulnerable women and girls in Yemen. The funding will help nearly a million women, girls and displaced people who are disproportionately affected by the crisis with emergency relief, reproductive health care and psychosocial support services.

The new EU contribution is critical for the continuation of these life-saving services, at a time when limited financing and growing humanitarian needs are posing a challenge to UNFPA’s humanitarian response in Yemen. 

After eight years of war and compounded by natural disasters, Yemen remains one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. Of the 23 million people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, more than 8 million are women and girls of childbearing age, who require urgent help to access reproductive health services. A total of 4.3 million people have been displaced within the country and an estimated 7 million people need urgent mental health care and support. The health response is extremely limited with shortages in essential medicines, supplies and personnel. Only one in five operating health facilities currently provides maternal and newborn care.

“The EU will continue to stand by millions of Yemenis who need humanitarian aid after more than seven years of unresolved conflict and crisis,” said European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič. “The €9.4 million will help women, girls and displaced people access crucial healthcare. We won’t let down vulnerable people who rely on us and our partnership with UNFPA to access vital health care and emergency assistance in their hour of need. I call on the parties to the conflict to facilitate unhindered access to those in need, particularly women and children.”

With the support of the European Commission, UNFPA will provide maternal health care, including emergency obsteric and newborn care, in 52 health facilities and mental health services in two specialized psychological care centres. UNFPA will also continue to distribute emergency relief supplies among newly displaced persons through the humanitarian multi-agency Rapid Response Mechanism led by UNFPA. 

“Women and girls often pay the heaviest price in conflicts. In Yemen, more than half of the 4.3 million people displaced are women,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. “They urgently need protection and reproductive health services. UNFPA is grateful for the strong and steadfast support of the European Union for our work in Yemen, which helps us to deliver life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of women and girls.”

The support of the European Union has been pivotal to UNFPA’s humanitarian response in Yemen, with nearly €47 million in financial contributions since 2018. But more funding is urgently needed as UNFPA is forced to scale back its lifesaving operations. As of  September 2022, only one-third of the $100 million required by UNFPA to provide reproductive health and protection assistance to millions of women and girls in Yemen had been received.

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