February 26, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
On the occasion of the third High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, today released the following statement:
“Canada’s support in Yemen is driven by our desire to end a terrible situation that has caused the suffering of so many people—especially women and children who bear the brunt of the crisis.
“The human cost of the ongoing conflict in Yemen is dire. That is why today, Canada is announcing $46.7 million to respond to the humanitarian needs of people in Yemen, building on the $130 million that Canada has provided since 2015.
“This new funding, which will be allocated to United Nations agencies, the Red Cross Movement and non-governmental organizations, will go toward urgent assistance, such as food, medicine and clean water, for the most vulnerable communities in Yemen. In line with its Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada will also focus on the urgent needs of women and girls, including the provision of sexual and reproductive health services.
“Canada strongly supports efforts to achieve long-lasting peace for the people of Yemen and remains committed to the UN-sponsored peace talks on Yemen. This will include direct support to the office of Martin Griffiths, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy.
“We are supporting the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement of December 2018. This includes funding for the deployment of an early warning system to Yemen that will monitor violations of the ceasefire.
“We are also funding efforts to ensure accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes.
“All parties to the conflict must commit to the peace process and fully implement their obligations, including respect for international humanitarian laws and ensuring the full, safe and unhindered access of aid into the country.”
On Friday, February 22nd, 2019, Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development, discussed how to better assist and empower women and girls in humanitarian emergencies.
The Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, Julie Delhanty, reminded us that ten years ago, we talked about the needs of women and girls, but we did not talk about gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Now, we have the tools, we need to focus on implementation.
Minister Bibeau noted that humanitarian assistance has to be about transforming lives. In order to do so, we must uphold the principle of gender equality. CanWaCH applauds this investment in humanitarian assistance in Yemen and its focus on women and children who bear the brunt of the crisis.