Saturday, 15 January 2011

EU boosts refugee aid to Yemen


The European Commission raised Saturday its humanitarian aid to Yemen to 15 million euros ($19.5 million) to help the country cope with an influx of refugees escaping strife at home and in Africa.

The aid will be directed at providing food, shelter, drinking water, latrines and showers, as well as health services and solid waster management to internally displaced persons and refugees, the commission said.

The European Union's executive arm had provided 10 million euros in humanitarian assistance last year.

"The country generously hosts a large refugee population, coming mainly from conflict-ridden Somalia," European commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

"But there also hundreds of thousands of Yemeni who are internally displaced by the conflict in the North, and who are also in dire need of assistance. For us, Yemen is not a forgotten crisis," she said.

The statement was issued in Brussels as Georgieva visited Yemen with the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, Antonio Guterres.

The EU aid commissioner opened a humanitarian office in the country to work with humanitarian organisations and improve the coordination of international aid.

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