Start Fund assists communities affected by 'forgotten' crisis in Yemen
Yesterday the Start Fund allocated £155,970 to provide assistance to people affected by the recent escalation of fighting in Amran, Yemen. The alert was raised on Monday by Oxfam, who cited a recent report from OCHA indicating that 85,000 people in Amran City are directly affected by the recent fighting, with more than 500,000 affected since April. Violent clashes between the Al Houthi tribe and Islah fighters have been ongoing since February, but since July 4th air raids and shelling inside the city of Amran have killed more than 200 civilians.
The alert note went on to say: “The crisis has a very low profile in the media and it is therefore difficult to fundraise for, yet the needs are significant: vulnerable IDPs continue to suffer without adequate assistance. With a relatively modest allocation, the Start Fund could help plug the humanitarian funding gap at the right time, save lives and help lobby other agencies on the need for assistance.”
The Start Fund Allocation Committee agreed on Tuesday to allocate up to £200,000 for the crisis, recognising that although restricted access to the city could cause problems for humanitarian response, it was imperative that funding was provided quickly. This was felt to be an especially relevent intervention for the Start Fund since the crisis in Yemen has been ranked 9th on ECHO's Forgotten Crisis Assessment for 2013-14.
Following recent decentralised decision making tests, the Start Network convened a project selection committee in Sana’a, Yemen, who met on Thursday. In addition, the Network tested a project selection process carried out by the Start Team staff. Both processes followed the same procedure and were overseen by Network members for robustness. As with earlier tests, the final decision on which projects would be funded fell to the local committee.
The committee chose two projects from International Medical Corps and Save the Children, which address the Measles outbreak and gaps around hygiene and provisions for pregnant and lactating women, respectively. The total budget for these two projects is £155,970 and they aim to reach a total of 32,000 beneficiaries.