Extra aid for Yemen, Iraq and the Lake Chad region

Living conditions for millions of people in Yemen, Iraq and the Lake Chad region are continuing to worsen. The Netherlands is keen to help. ‘The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises,’ development minister Lilianne Ploumen said. ‘People in Yemen and the Lake Chad region are running out of food, while in Iraq many people are without shelter. It may not be front-page news, but the stories about children and families in crisis are truly heart-rending.’ A total of €10 million is being made available through the International Red Cross and the United Nations. This support comes in addition to the €27 million already released for these regions in 2016.

Continuing violence perpetrated by Boko Haram has driven more than 2.5 million people in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon from their homes. ‘People wake up in the morning not knowing if they’ll eat in the evening,’ Ms Ploumen added. ‘On top of Boko Harem’s terrible acts of violence, people are having to deal with severe droughts and a lack of seeds. And to make things worse there is a very real threat of floods.’ The International Red Cross will use €4 million to provide humanitarian aid such as food and medical and psychosocial support.

In Yemen 80% of the population, including 10 million children, are now dependent on humanitarian aid. In response, the Netherlands has earmarked an extra €4 million for UNICEF and the UN’s World Food Programme to combat malnutrition and hunger in the country. ‘Malnutrition seriously endangers children’s development and causes serious health problems later in life,’ the minister added.

In Iraq 3.5 million people have been driven from their homes. And there is the risk that more people will be displaced once the city of Mosul is liberated. ‘If Mosul is recaptured from IS, we will be able to give humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people we couldn’t reach before. We need to take this into account.’ With this in mind, the €2 million in extra aid for Iraq will be used to provide emergency housing, toilets and showers and medical care, channelled through the International Red Cross.