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War in Yemen : We must ensure the Survival of millions of Yemenis

Mr Johnen, war, disease and Hunger – is to save Yemen?

Whether Yemen will have, as a state Entity the stock, I don't know. But I know that there are more than 29 million people live. And the need to be rescued. That's what counts.

But just in Yemen to organizations such as the German Red cross auxiliary will lead a multi-front battle: during the constant battles both against diseases, procedures, food distribution and the people with drugs. How is this done?

In the centre of the humanitarian emergency is clearly. And not just since yesterday. The DRC has cooperated for more than ten years with the Yemeni Red Crescent, which has traditionally worked very closely with the municipalities. Two elements play a special role.

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What are the order?

health and food security. Initially, the mostly long-term projects. Such, therefore, to strengthen assistance capacities of the population. But after the situation escalated in such a way, it was almost exclusively in relief.

However, we encourage the Yemeni Red Crescent and, if possible, in long-term projects. Because at some point this conflict will end. Then there is a basis on which to build, literally.

Christof Johnen (52) is Director of the international cooperation at the Federal Association of the German Red cross.Photo: Clemens Bilan/DRK

the Yemen is far away, or?

there's No question, at present, the demand for help is many times higher than the available resources. The access to the people in Need is still restricted to the extreme. And, not least, dangerous, especially for the helpers. Their life is often threatened.

14 helpers of the Red cross and Red Crescent have been killed during the operations. Of the physical and mental exhaustion not to mention. In the last months of last year, we had the great concern is that the downward spiral of suffering and destitution will hardly be stopped. Now there is a cautious Confidence.

What are based?

the parties to The conflict talking, in the meantime, at least with each other. In Stockholm, government representatives and envoys of the opposing Houthi militias under the mediation of the UN have agreed to release the prisoners. This is a humanitarian gesture, might be the first small step in the direction of peace.

But what is the use the needy in Yemen?

This is a confidence-building measure. And the extremely difficult access to the non-performing has a lot to do with distrust. In this respect, we hope that this agreement will have a positive effect on our work.

The Situation in the embattled city of Houdeida – the majority of relief supplies are handled by the local port has not worsened at least. But it is also true: There is no reason for euphoria. Yemen is very, very far from a sort of normality.

does That mean?

There is a lack of everything. Less than 50 percent of the health facilities are functioning at all. Jobs are scarce, salaries are not paid. The economy is on the floor. The Hunger is omnipresent. All of this can compensate for humanitarian aid alone. You must to secure the Survival of the people. Therefore, a political process is so important.

Yemen has long been considered the poor house of the Arab world. How to be able to manage the country under the prevailing conditions in the foreseeable future with no relief?

If there is no fighting, so civilians and civilian facilities are not attacked, then the situation is far from good. But it will then be possible, however, to bring important Goods easier. The people could go back to work, a social life. They had thus a perspective. However, this also poses a danger.


Yemen could fall into oblivion again. This was more often the case. The crucial question is, therefore, supported the country after a peace, in the long term and in a sustainable way? If this is not the case, there is only a brief respite. It is the policy to prevent this.

the aid organisations will Feel at times overwhelmed?

The humanitarian aid as such is not overwhelmed. Humanitarian aid, however, is saddled with a lot of. You should often serve as a substitute for a lack of early political Action. In Yemen, the Situation has escalated in front of all eyes - and humanitarian aid is open to whitewash obvious political helplessness.

Where is Yemen in a year?

phew. I hope, at the beginning of a new process of making foundations of life and the human perspectives. Then much would be achieved.

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peace talks for Yemen If 28 million needy people

Christian Böhme

hope The conversation Christian Böhme.

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