MANILA – The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Friday, pledged USD100,000 (approximately PHP4.86 million) to help address the worsening situation and famine faced by conflict-torn Yemen.
“Knowing my President’s soft heart for cruelly treated children, I raised our donation in the Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen to USD100,000 and promised to scrape up some more. Money saved from travels goes to the victims of barbarous proxy wars of big powers,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said.
While Manila is also reeling from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Locsin underscored the “duty to look after one another and reach out to those who are experiencing the direst of situations.”
He, meanwhile, called on all parties to the armed conflict to “stop the firing and listen to the cries and worse yet, listen to the silence when starving kids no longer cry out nor their mothers wail with their children draped like rags over their arms.”
Yemen was plunged into conflict in 2014 when the Iranian-backed Houthi militia took over Sana’a and eventually declared control over the country with the help of its ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
With the support from a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni government was able to push the militia back and restore control on most of its land.
A sharp increase in violence, however, was reported last year exacerbated by a fuel crisis, desert locust infestations, and the impact of Covid-19 on the country.
The United Nations said six years of relentless conflict in Yemen has made the country the “site of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis” where millions of people need assistance.
Malnutrition rates are also at “record highs” as the country speeds towards the “worst famine the world has seen in decades,” UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said.
Lowcock added that some 400,000 under-age-five girls and boys are severely malnourished that they are in “their last weeks and months.”
This year alone, at least USD3.85 billion is needed to provide aid and protection to some 16 million people in the country. (PNA)