Funding shortfall threatens UNHCR operation in Yemen

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 5 February 2010, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

We are facing a dramatic funding situation in Yemen and may be forced to scale down our operations for refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) there if we do not receive fresh contributions very soon.

UNHCR's part of the 2010 UN consolidated appeal for Yemen amounts to US$ 35.6 million. To date, we have received less than three per cent of the needed funds.

The dire funding situation is seriously diminishing our capacity to register and document refugees and IDPs, to monitor their situation and to address their needs. These funds are also required to expand the existing, already overpopulated IDP camps and to build new ones, to organize and provide shelter materials, namely much needed tents and plastic sheeting as well as to provide the basic relief items such as blankets, mattresses, hygienic kits, etc.

We are deeply concerned that unless there is a prompt and adequate response from donors, the lack of funding will very soon have a direct impact on our work to protect and assist some 250,000 IDPs and more than 170,000 refugees in Yemen. With continuing conflict in the north of Yemen and ongoing conflict in Somalia, generating a continuous influx of Somalis towards Yemen, these numbers continue to grow.