News ID: 386185
Publish Date: 19 February 2022 - 13:59

Critical Humanitarian Situation in Yemen Due Saudi Blockade

The United Nations World Food Program said on Friday it was forced to cut food aid for millions in war-torn Yemen which will feeds those at risk of sliding into famine-like conditions.

According to Navid Shahed website, "Donors' funds are drying up even though Yemen is going through what the United Nations describes as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world," said Corinne Fleischer, director of the World Food Program for the Middle East and North Africa, in an interview with AFP.  "We have is a major funding crisis," she added.

Fleischer explained that the funding provided by donors so far covers only 18 percent of the nearly $2 billion the program needs for its activities in Yemen. "We need another $806 million in the next six months to feed 13 million people," she added. This shortage, according to her, does not give the UN any choice but to allocate funds to five million people in Yemen "on the verge of famine", which means that the other eight million who suffer from lack of food supplies will receive half of the WFP's rations.

"A couple told us they had not eaten for two days to give food to their children. Many are now saying they will have to go back to just bread and tea. This is clearly not enough for a healthy diet," Fleischer said.

The program official added that "the most heartbreaking thing we heard was that people started collecting tree leaves" to eat, stressing that "the agency succeeded in averting famine last year due to the generosity of donors by providing 1.4 billion dollars."

But donated funds have fallen sharply this year, which Fleischer attributed to "significantly" rising global needs, influenced by conflict, climate change and Covid.

"The number of people who desperately need food aid has increased from 115 million to 280 million. Of course, the needs are increasing," she said.

Also, the official noted, "The donors have been generous, but they also have to deal with their own problems associated with Covid and their economies. Thus, there is simply not a lot of money available."

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is still difficult due to the continuous blockade of the ports by the Saudi coalition forces, which reduces the availability of fuel, food and medicine, which leads to an increase in the number of right-wing citizens who need humanitarian assistance.


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