UN Slams Saudi Arabia, UAE over Failure on Yemeni Aid Pledges
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Millions of Yemenis face severe cuts to food, medicine and other handouts because the UAE and Saudi Arabia have failed to provide funds promised earlier this year, the UN said in a statement.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said food handouts to 12 million Yemenis and health services to 19 million were on the chopping block because of massive funding shortfalls, the Middle East Eye reported.
It added that one of the main reasons for this is that the UAE and Saudi Arabia have failed to fulfill their promises.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, part of a coalition waging war on Yemen, each promised $750 million in aid to the country at a UN fundraising event in February. According to UN figures, Saudi Arabia has so far only paid $121.7 million and the UAE about $195 million of the promised funds.
On Wednesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric warned the humanitarian crisis would likely expose more Yemenis to hunger and disease unless donor countries came good on their pledges within weeks.
Without new funding, food rations to 12 million people will be reduced, including aid to at least 2.5 million malnourished Yemeni children that have been "keeping them alive", Dujarric added.
About 19 million people may lose access to health care, tens of thousands of Yemenis may be made homeless and clean water may stop flowing for five million people at the end of October, the UN said.
Already, the UN has shelved plans to build 30 feeding centers, 14 shelters and four mental health clinics. A water purification plant was shut in June, meaning local farmers struggle to irrigate their fields, the UN said.
Saudi Arabia launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.