“Strengthening the Humanitarian Response in Yemen” - Civil Society Event
Following many years of support for Yemen, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation recently sponsored the Civil Society event, “Strengthening the Humanitarian Response in Yemen”, organised by ACTED, ACF, CARE, Mercy Corps, NRC, Oxfam, Save the Children and Warchild. The event was held on Thursday January 26th at the Institute of Engineers and Technology in London.
|Carolyn Perry, Director of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation.
||Jamie McGoldrick, UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.
Until recent months, Yemen has been one of the most under-reported and forgotten emergencies of our time, but this event brought together stakeholders from the international community to facilitate dialogue with Yemeni civil society, the private sector and national and international aid organisations. It provided the opportunity for a better understanding of the humanitarian challenges in Yemen, while concurrently addressing key issues affecting the current response.
The first session’s main themes included “Humanitarian Space and Constraints”, the “UK Government Perspective” and the “Impact of the Economy and Political Process on the Humanitarian Situation”. These were closed to the public and held under “Chatham House Rules”. Speakers included Nuha Al-Eryani, Executive Manager, Humanitarian Forum Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen and Hilal Al Bahri, President of the Humanitarian Forum Yemen. The UK Government was represented by the RT Hon. Rory Stewart, UK Minister of State for International Development.
After lunch, Carolyn Perry, Director of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, opened the public plenary session with a welcome speech on behalf of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Chairman and Founder of the Foundation. Krishan Guru-Murthy chaired the session which focussed on ‘The Humanitarian Situation in Yemen – Finding a Way Forward” and speakers included Dr Bilkis Abouosba, Head of the Awam Foundation for Culture & Development, Mark Goldring, CEO of Oxfam UK, the RT Hon Andrew Mitchell MP and Antonia Calvo Puerta, the EU Ambassador to Yemen.
All agree that there is still a fundamental need to educate much of the international community about the reality of the crisis and the political complexities in Yemen, in order for all to work together for a durable peaceful solution and an effective response to the humanitarian need. Responding to the ever deepening humanitarian crisis in Yemen is incredibly challenging, hampered by insecurity, restricted access, lack of funding and lack of capacity. In a situation where more than half the population are in need of life-saving aid, however, a humanitarian response is only part of the solution. Urgent action is also needed to address the failing economy, the lack of protection for the civilian population, and the faltering peace process.
The MBI Al Jaber Foundation continues its focus on Yemen in March with a screening of Nawal Al Maghafi's films including #StarvingYemen.
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