Erick de Mul, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Angola, called for $46 million from donors to fund 11 priority projects. According to a statement issued by the UN office in the Angolan capital of Luanda, the death of UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi has not meant the end of military operations in Angola. “Millions of vulnerable people are living in life-threatening conditions and more will be at serious risk if action is not taken immediately,” said Mr. de Mul. “Urgent funding is needed to ensure that life-saving assistance gets to people who need it without delay.”Unless the situation on the ground changes, humanitarian agencies in Angola estimate that approximately 300,000 more Angolans will become displaced over the next six months, bringing the total number of displaced people in the country to 4.6 million.This would increase the current emergency caseload by nearly 25 per cent, further taxing relief operations that Mr. de Mul’s office described as already “stretched to the limit.”
“These funds will help to save lives,” declared UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock as he announced that the funding would rapidly bolster the response for some 22 million people in Yemen who need humanitarian assistance, including more than eight million who are “a step away from famine.”Since 2015, Yemen has been in engulfed a conflict between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.Mr. Lowcock emphasized that to roll back the unfolding catastrophe, three things need to happen. “First,” he began, “there must be reduction both in fighting on the ground and airstrikes, which have greatly intensified in recent weeks.” Armed conflict is killing and injuring people and destroying critical infrastructure. Danger and bureaucratic impediments hamper humanitarians’ ability to reach those in need, including those at risk of diphtheria – a growing outbreak now in most of Yemen’s governorates. Mr. Lowcock maintained that “the parties to the conflict must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure,” and facilitate humanitarian partners. “Second,” he continued, “we need all ports to remain open without interruption. Yemen imports about 90 per cent of its staple food and nearly all of its fuel and medicine […] a lifeline for millions of people.” Moving forward, sustained and higher levels of food, fuel and medicines must be imported. “Third,” he said, “we need faster and more generous donor financing.” While aid saved millions in 2017, recent restrictions and intensified fighting have forced more reliance on aid. “The CERF allocation today will ensure a comprehensive, integrated response across life-saving humanitarian sectors for the most vulnerable people in 27 high-priority districts at risk of famine, as well as in areas where conflict has recently escalated,” he said. “The Yemeni people need an end to the conflict so that they can begin to rebuild their lives. For this to happen, the parties to the conflict must cease hostilities and engage meaningfully with the UN to achieve a lasting political settlement,” he concluded.