UN warns of severe aid cuts soon in Yemen without new funds

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Chief in Yemen warned on Wednesday that unless significant new funding is received in the coming weeks, food rations for 12 million people in the war-torn country will be reduced and at least 2.5 million malnourished children will be cut off from life-saving services.

Lise Grande said the UN was forced to suspend most vaccination campaigns in May, and without new money, a “staggering” 22 life-saving programmes in Yemen will close in the next two months.

At a UN pledging conference in February, donors pledged USD2.6 billion to meet the urgent needs of more than 20 million Yemenis, but Grande said that to date, less than half the amount has been received.

“When money doesn’t come, people die,” she said in a statement on Wednesday. The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by Houthi Shiite rebels who control much of the country’s north. A coalition that includes the United Arab Emirates allied with Yemen’s internationally recognised government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015. The fighting has killed thousands of civilians and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.