Upon the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and in accordance with his speech at the UN General Assembly's 73rd session, the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has signed a memorandum of understanding to fund the water and sanitation sector in Yemen, in co-operation with the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).
The grant focuses on the rehabilitation of water networks, distribution and drainage networks in Yemen and water supply stations to prepare them for civilian use, and reduce the spread of contaminated water-related diseases such as cholera and others, and improve access to safe drinking water for women and children.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Board Chairman of the QFFD, Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, said that the grant aims to support the brotherly people of Yemen, who are going through very difficult circumstances.
He said that sanitation and water are among the biggest challenges facing Yemen's current crisis, in addition to the shortage of fuel suffered by local water companies and the high cost of transporting water by commercial trucks, the main source of water for many.
"Today, more than 19.3mn Yemenis have no access to clean water and sanitation. Of these, 50% were directly separated from the basics of life because of the conflict. The devastating impact was the outbreak of cholera in the capital, Sanaa, and other parts of the country," he added.
In collaboration with partners, Unicef and the QFFD) will expand their response in water, sanitation and hygiene, disease prevention and control, he noted.
"The recent conflict has exacerbated weaknesses in infrastructure and unpaid salaries for civil servants, so that almost the entire water and sanitation system is nearing collapse," he said.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that Qatar, through this grant, affirms that the right to access and clean water properly is necessary for the full enjoyment of good life and all human rights, especially at a time when one of the world's most water-scarce countries is going through a humanitarian disaster where conflict has worsened, particularly for children who depend on clean drinking water and adequate sanitation for good health and survival.
For her part, Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore said: "This generous contribution from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) is very important for the Unicef 's efforts to help children in Yemen, allowing Unicef to increase access to clean water and improve water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities".
She expressed her deep thanks and full gratitude to His Highness the Amir for his good endeavours in supporting the people of Yemen, who are experiencing a difficult situation.
© Gulf Times Newspaper 2021