A number of key Maltese women have teamed up with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to send aid to suffering families in war-struck Yemen.
The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs will be sponsoring the shipment of a container laden with humanitarian aid following an initiative by the Malta-India Business Council to send necessary items such as clothes, blankets, baby food, baby ware and other essential items, donated by the people of Malta and Gozo, for babies and children suffering from hardship and hunger in Yemen.
About 400,000 children in Yemen, along with their parents, are starving because of the war that has torn apart their country for years.
Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 24 million people, which equates to around 80% of the population, in need of some form of humanitarian assistance or protection.
The Maltese initiative, entitled ‘WICCI Humanitarian Aid Women for Peace’, is the idea of a group of Maltese women who are members of the Malta-India Business Council, which forms part of the global network ‘Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI)’.
During a ceremony held on Valentine’s Day, President of the Malta-India Business Council Dame Jane Chircop said the public’s response to their plea on social media was overwhelming.
“Once again, the generosity of the Maltese and the Gozitans has been put to the test and this has extended to those in need, even beyond our shores,” she said, thanking Minister Evarist Bartolo for responding to the call for the Ministry to cover the costs of sending a container to Yemen.
Minister Bartolo said that, though hailing from such a small country, Maltese people have a big heart and are always ready to help those who are suffering.
Bartolo expressed his gratitude to the women who took the initiative to raise aid for Yemen, and to all those who helped as best they could.
He noted that the aid to be sent to Yemen will arrive through Oman, which is a neutral country like Malta and is not involved in the war in Yemen. Ambassador of Malta to Oman Paul Mifsud will follow the shipment of the container through Oman.
President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry David Xuereb praised WICCI for their initiative and the support of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs towards this noble cause.
“As Malta’s foremost business representative body, we strive to promote the values of compassion and solidarity. We are proud of our business community which exhibits these values. We should all be motivated to follow such examples of businesses focused on delivering a robust social foundation for our communities,” he said.
Joseph Galea, a representative of the Order of St. John, which also made its contribution to the cause, was also in attendance.
Years of conflict, economic decline and institutional collapse have created enormous humanitarian needs in all sectors in Yemen.
The scale, severity and complexity of needs in Yemen are staggering. Over 230 of Yemen’s 333 governorates are food insecure, while at the same time, Yemen continues to grapple with the effects of cholera, the COVID-19 pandemic, forced displacement protection risks and a series of other challenges, which include jobless families and inoperable hospitals.
This symbolic gesture is a clear example of how diplomacy is also a tool that brings countries in need closer together, acting as a bridge to deliver humanitarian aid to those requiring it the most, the Ministry ended.