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Swiss boost humanitarian aid to Yemen

About 20 million people in the region have no access to clean water Keystone

The Swiss foreign ministry has announced it is making additional funds available to cover the most urgent humanitarian needs in Yemen. It calls for a political solution to the conflict in the war-torn country.

This content was published on December 23, 2016 - 19:36
swissinfo.ch/ug

The CHF3 million ($2.9 million) financial commitment over the next 12 months is destined for a fund managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

It will be used to pay for emergency water and hygiene projects as well as for food aid, according to foreign ministry statement published on Friday.

Switzerland has sent an expert to the region to train the UN and local authorities on how to contain the cholera disease.

An estimated seven million are suffering from acute malnutrition and 20 million people have no access to clean water in Yemen, while the country has taken in nearly 300,000 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea in recent years.

“With every passing day of war, the suffering of the population increases,” the statement warns.

The foreign ministry urges all parties to the conflict to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. “A political solution to the situation in Yemen is needed to ensure a lasting peace,” it says.

Switzerland has been active in Yemen since 2007 with a aid budget of CHF9 million per year. Its humanitarian programme currently focuses on water and sanitation as well as projects to protect the civilian population, according to the foreign ministry.

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