DEC warns that the humanitarian situation will be catastrophic if Yemen borders remain closed


The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is seriously concerned about the Saudi-led coalition’s decision to temporarily close all entry ports to Yemen, a country which has over 20 million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The lack of access into the country will prevent commercial supplies and vital aid deliveries from reaching those in need and will stop the movement of aid workers in and out of Yemen.

Saleh Saeed, Chief Executive for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) commented: “Closure of all land, sea and air ports stopping access into the country is extremely worrying. I have seen for myself how fragile the humanitarian situation in Yemen is; seven million people are facing severe conditions and rely completely on food aid to survive. We are deeply concerned that any disruption in the pipeline of food, medicine and other essential supplies has the potential to bring millions of people closer to starvation and death and as the UN has warned famine. All sides to the conflict must keep Yemen’s air, sea and land borders open to allow life-saving humanitarian supplies to enter the country, until a peace process can stop the suffering of millions of people.”

Since December last year the DEC’s Yemen Crisis Appeal has raised £26 million, including £5 million UK Aid Match funding, which has helped boost the aid effort and get lifesaving help to people quickly. DEC’s member charities reached over 1.3 million people with food, clean water, medical supplies and cash between December 2016 and July 2017, in the first phase of the DEC-funded response.  

Saleh continued: “Despite the enormous operational, access and security challenges in the country, our member charities have to date provided life-saving assistance to those in need in Yemen. We call on all sides of this conflict to respect international humanitarian law and allow continued access of food, water and medical help to get to the innocent victims in Yemen and ensure there is no further loss of life.”