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KSA, UAE announce $200m to support humanitarian needs in Yemen

yemen food crisis

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will provide funding of $200 million for urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

This funding, which is part of a $500 million donation that (Imdaad) announced in November 2018, is an organized campaign of urgent assistance to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people by meeting basic needs in the sectors of food, nutrition, health and livelihoods in Yemen during the upcoming weeks.

This joint humanitarian initiative comes in cooperation with United Nations agencies, reaffirming the significant humanitarian role being played in Yemen by the coalition states, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The funding is allocated to UN partners: $140 million to the World Food Program to bridge the funding gap for food needs; $40 million to UNICEF to address sanitation issues and malnutrition among children and mothers; and $20 million to the World Health Organization to help control cholera and to provide intravenous feeding fluids.

Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court, Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) stated that the coalition, in particular the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are striving to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people due to the Houthi militias' violations of the Stockholm Agreement and its recommendations, and the militias’ exploitation of the humanitarian crisis for their own military and political gains.

Dr. Al Rabeeah stated that this joint program is designed to ensure rapid implementation and delivery to areas most in need, with special focus on the most vulnerable groups, including women and children.

He further stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are keen to implement an urgent program with strategic partners – particularly WFP, UNICEF and WHO – to mitigate the situation of malnutrition, health and WASH in Yemen and help to avert famine and the epidemic diseases associated with famine.

This program is one of many extensive initiatives implemented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates through the UN and other international and Yemeni civil society organizations. KSrelief and the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates have also implemented qualitative projects that meet Yemen’s high-priority humanitarian needs.

For her part, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation, stated that a large portion of this support will focus on women, which is crucial to foreign aid programs because of their prominent and pivotal role in providing efficient assistance and promoting the building of the social structure.

Her Excellency pointed to the difficulties that hinder the delivery of aid to Yemen, mainly due to obstacles put in place by the Houthis, such as preventing beneficiaries from gaining proper access to humanitarian aid. The Minister also mentioned the Houthis’ failure to respect negotiated agreements such as the Stockholm Peace Agreement.

She said the timing of this support was chosen to meet urgent needs and to ensure the delivery of aid assistance in the coming weeks to allow the Yemeni people to maintain their traditions and to practice the customs of the holy month of Ramadan.

Her Excellency stated that “we will work with UN agencies to deliver this aid to all Yemeni governorates. We also want to begin the process of rebuilding infrastructure and strengthening the economy of Yemen." She also called for respect of the peace agreements so that work could begin on building a bright future for Yemen. “We look forward to providing more, and soon,” she added.

Dr. Al Rabeeah and Al Hashimy affirmed the commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to support the Yemeni people in all parts of the country to ensure their ability to live decent lives.

This initiative is in addition to the two countries' previous pledges of $1 billion, and the $250 million provided by Kuwait; these pledges were announced at the UN’s recent High- level Pledging Event for Yemen on February 26, 2019; this was the largest grant in the history of the United Nations. It is noteworthy that the financial contribution of the Coalition countries, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in support of Yemen over the past four years totals more than $18 billion.