Australia supporting vulnerable women and children in Yemen

Media release

28 September 2012

Australia is increasing its support of vulnerable women and children in Yemen, answering an urgent call by the United Nations and the Yemeni government for food aid.

Speaking at the Friends of Yemen Ministerial meeting in New York, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Richard Marles, said Australia was gravely concerned about the continuing food crisis in Yemen.

"An estimated 10 million people, roughly one-third of the population, are without secure access to food and other basics," said Mr Marles.

"Australia is providing an additional $5 million in humanitarian assistance. Of that, $2.7 million dollars will be channelled to the World Food Programme to assist more than 550,000 vulnerable people.

"The remaining $2.3 million has been provided to the United Nations Children's Fund to aid around 130,000 malnourished children, as well as assisting maternal nutrition. This brings Australia's total humanitarian contribution to more than $16 million."

Mr Marles said Australia was proud of its track record in responding to humanitarian crises, including recent assistance in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel.

"I urge the international community to provide additional support to the Yemeni people to prevent the further escalation of the humanitarian crisis," said Mr Marles.

The Friends of Yemen group, of which Australia is a member, coordinates international support to Yemen to assist its political transition, security and economic development.

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