UN criticizes Saudi Arabia and UAE for not helping Yemen | News -

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UN aid chief Mark Lockuk criticized Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday (July 18, 2019) for providing a "modest percentage" of the hundreds of millions of dollars they pledged about five months ago to contribute to Yemen's humanitarian efforts.

Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had pledged $ 750 million at a UN conference in February to raise $ 4 billion, but Saudi Arabia has so far provided only $ 121.7 million, while the United Arab Emirates has provided 195 million dollars, according to the UN.

"Those who have made the largest pledges – Yemen's neighbors in the coalition – have so far only offered a modest percentage of what they promised," Lokoc told the Security Council, adding that as a result, the organization had collected only 34 percent of the pledges compared to 60 percent in the same period last year.

The organization describes the situation in Yemen, where the four-year-old war has killed tens of thousands and left millions on the verge of famine, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE respond

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah al-Maalami, said the kingdom had paid more than $ 400 million to the United Nations and other aid organizations this year. "Saudi Arabia alone paid more for Yemen in 2019 than any other donor," he told reporters. He said Saudi Arabia had spent more than $ 15 billion on aid since the conflict began, through the United Nations directly and through private agencies.

The Emirates Mission to the United Nations said that the UAE is currently working with the United Nations regarding the details of the commitment of 2019 to maximize the benefit of the Yemeni people and that it provided assistance to Yemen worth $ 5.5 billion.

The United States has provided more than $ 288 million in response to the United Nations call on Yemen, making it the largest contributor this year. Washington sells weapons and military equipment worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Agreement with Houthis to resume food distribution

On the other hand, the World Food Program reached a preliminary agreement with the Houthis to resume the distribution of food aid in the areas they control, according to the Administrator announced Thursday.

The United Nations suspended food distribution in rebel control areas last month after accusations of "embezzlement" and the lack of aid to its owners, affecting 850,000 people in the capital Sanaa.

The new agreement with the Houthis will allow for quick food distribution in Sanaa, although the two sides have not formally signed the deal yet, WFP director David Beazley told the UN Security Council. "I can say that we have made great progress," he told a council meeting to discuss the situation in Yemen. Paisley joined a number of humanitarian officials at the United Nations in highlighting the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen. "About 30 million people live in Yemen, more than two thirds of them are food insecure, and that means 20 million women, men, boys and girls," he said.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith, warned of the "dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation" in Yemen, saying that the fragile cease-fire in the port of Hodeidah "may finally allow us to focus on the political process before the end of this summer."

Saudi Arabia is leading a Western-backed military alliance to enter Yemen in 2015 in an attempt to restore a government ousted by the Houthi group allied to Iran. The UAE is a key partner in this alliance. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, including a large number of civilians, according to various humanitarian organizations. The conflict has displaced about 3.3 people from their homes.

(Reuters, DPA, AFP)

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