A child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told journalists in Geneva

| Updated Dec 05, 2017 at 10:04am


Photo: OCHA/Gilles Clarke.


A record level of aid funding – more than $22.5 billion – is needed to deliver lifesaving assistance around the world in 2018, the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator said last Friday.

Announcing the Global Humanitarian Appeal, Mark Lowcock said that an estimated 136 million people face urgent needs because of protracted conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics and displacement.

"Were we better financed we would save more lives. But we would also protect more futures…It costs us about £230 a year to provide the lifesaving comprehensive assistance that we are talking about through these response plans, that's 77 cents a day. That's one of the cheapest investments you can make in the safety of humanity for the future, so we are hoping that on the basis of the quality of the plans we will be able to reach higher levels of funding than we have both said we have achieved for this year."

In Yemen, a child dies every 10 minutes, the UN official said, adding that the country is likely to remain the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Twenty million of the country's 25 million people are in need of assistance, and seven to eight million "right on the brink of famine", Mr. Lowcock added.

He repeated his call for the Saudi-led coalition to continue unwinding its blockade – put in place after a rocket attack by Houthi fighters three weeks ago – warning of a humanitarian crisis the like of which the world "has not seen in decades" if it is not done.

Acknowledging that humanitarian aid on its own could not solve chronic instability, the UN aid chief said it was a personal priority to work with governments on development and peace-building to address the root causes of their problems.