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UN warns of famine in Yemen, no help from Saudis, UAE, Kuwait

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Today, he said, the UN call has received just 30%, about $ 1 billion, leaving 9 million Yemenis to face deep cuts in aid programs including food, water and healthcare.

Lowcock said that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, which have a special responsibility, which they have relieved in recent years, have so far given nothing to the UN plan of these years.

Citing financial promises that have not turned into actual contributions, he said, it is especially punishable to promise money, which gives people hope that help may be on the way, and then to dispel those hopes simply by not fulfilling the promise.

Continuing to withhold money from the humanitarian response will now be a death sentence for many families, Lowcock said. Once again, I urge all donors to pay their promises now and increase their support.

The Yemeni conflict has killed more than 100,000 people and created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, with more than 3 million people displaced inside and two-thirds of the population relying on food aid for survival. About 24 million Yemenis, or 80% of the country’s population, need some form of assistance or protection, according to the UN

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths told the council that increased fighting, greater humanitarian needs and the COVID-19 pandemic have done their damage.

Lowcock said the situation has been exacerbated by escalating conflict in recent weeks, particularly in central Yemen. In August, more civilians were killed across the country than any other month of the year, he said.

Both Griffiths and Lowcock singled out the troubling situation in Marib province, where more than 1 million people have sought refuge since 2015.

Griffiths said a battle there would not only force those seeking refuge there to leave again but would have political implications, undermining the prospects of calling for a comprehensive political process that brings about a transition based on partnership and pluralism.

Lowcock condemned the closure of the airport in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, to the UN and humanitarian flights by Houthis rebels, who control the city and countries in the north, due to lack of fuel. The shortages are having serious humanitarian consequences, but that does not justify closing the airport, he said.

Lowcock called for a speedy solution if aid workers stay safe in the north and the UN maintains operations, including the planned delivery of 100 tonnes of air cargo to Sanaa in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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