Secretary General, Christian Friis Bach, at a recent visit to Abs, Yemen

Statement at the Yemen pledging conference

Statement delivered by Christian Friis Bach, Secretary General at the Danish Refugee Council, at the Yemen pledging conference in Geneva, February 26:


The Danish Refugee Council has a significant presence and work as a firstline responder throughout Yemen and we pledge to do our very best to strengthen our response. Having just returned from a visit to Yemen I have seen the severe needs but also how we can reach vulnerable families and all affected communities if we work together.

However, we are struggling numerous unpredictable administrative impediments and restrictions. My first message is to ask all actors to significantly and immediately improve access for humanitarian actors. 

Second: I have seen how we can and should work much more actively with women. Many of them are victims of violence, war and discrimination and need special assistance. Yet, we shall see women as key actors ensuring wellbeing of their families and communities. We must put the assistance in their hands and empower and engage them throughout Yemen to allow them to protect their families and promote peace.

Third: Yemen is in the center of one of busiest mixed migration routes in the world. In 2018 estimated 150,000 refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa migrated to Yemen. They are still coming. And they face severe risks. People are pushed off boats, kidnapped, abused, face sexual violence, and are arbitrarily detained or deportated. Due to the conflict, it has become increasingly difficult to offer protection and assistance to refugees, migrants and those internally displaced living in miserable camps.

We must not forget them. We must do more to protect them.