‘Funds desperately needed to avert Yemen famine’

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‘Funds desperately needed to avert Yemen
famine’
Geneva, 4/26
UN chief Antonio Guterres urged countries on
Tuesday to pitch in to help prevent a looming
famine in war-torn Yemen, warning that
children especially were already dying at an
alarming rate.
“Yemen today is experiencing a tragedy of
immense proportions,” the UN Secretary
General told country representatives gathered
in Geneva for an aid pledging conference.
“We are witnessing the starving and the
crippling of an entire generation,” he said,
adding that Yemen is gripped by “the world’s
largest hunger crisis”.
Appealing to donors, he stressed that “a
famine can be prevented if we act quickly and
commit to funding crucial life-saving
assistance”.
The conference, co-hosted by the Swiss and
Swedish foreign ministers, comes after the UN
in February said Yemen needed USD 2.1 billion
(1.9 billion euros) of aid this year alone.
The UN had warned that unless international
donors stepped up their response the war-torn
country faced a “serious risk of famine”.
By today, only 15 per cent of that appeal had
been funded, Guterres said.
UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told
the conference that Yemen was “the world’s
largest humanitarian crisis today.”
A total of 17 million people, or around 60
percent of its population, are going hungry,
while seven million of them do not know where
their next meal is coming from and need
immediate food aid, the UN said.
Children especially are bearing the brunt of
the crisis.
“On average, a child under the age of five
dies of preventable causes in Yemen every 10
minutes,” Guterres said.
“This means 50 children in Yemen will die
during today’s conference, and all those
deaths could have been prevented.”
Many of the children who survive “will be
affected by stunting and poor health for
their entire lives,” he added.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom
noted that with two million children out of
school, there is a growing risk of
recruitment by armed groups, while two-thirds
of girls are married off before the age of
18.
“We must act now”, she said.
Yemen’s war has pitted pro-government forces
against Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their
allies, renegade troops loyal to former
president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in
March 2015 to help the government retake the
capital Sanaa and swathes of the country’s
north and west.
Fighting in Yemen has killed more than 7,700
people over the past two years and forced 3.3
million people to flee their homes, according
to UN numbers.

‘Funds desperately needed to avert Yemen famine’

Geneva, 4/26

UN chief Antonio Guterres urged countries on

Tuesday to pitch in to help prevent a looming

famine in war-torn Yemen, warning that

children especially were already dying at an

alarming rate.

“Yemen today is experiencing a tragedy of

immense proportions,” the UN Secretary

General told country representatives gathered

in Geneva for an aid pledging conference.

“We are witnessing the starving and the

crippling of an entire generation,” he said,

adding that Yemen is gripped by “the world’s

largest hunger crisis”.

Appealing to donors, he stressed that “a

famine can be prevented if we act quickly and

commit to funding crucial life-saving

assistance”.

The conference, co-hosted by the Swiss and

Swedish foreign ministers, comes after the UN

in February said Yemen needed USD 2.1 billion

(1.9 billion euros) of aid this year alone.

The UN had warned that unless international

donors stepped up their response the war-torn

country faced a “serious risk of famine”.

By today, only 15 per cent of that appeal had

been funded, Guterres said.

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told

the conference that Yemen was “the world’s

largest humanitarian crisis today.”

A total of 17 million people, or around 60

percent of its population, are going hungry,

while seven million of them do not know where

their next meal is coming from and need

immediate food aid, the UN said.

Children especially are bearing the brunt of

the crisis.

“On average, a child under the age of five

dies of preventable causes in Yemen every 10

minutes,” Guterres said.

“This means 50 children in Yemen will die

during today’s conference, and all those

deaths could have been prevented.”

Many of the children who survive “will be

affected by stunting and poor health for

their entire lives,” he added.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom

noted that with two million children out of

school, there is a growing risk of

recruitment by armed groups, while two-thirds

of girls are married off before the age of

18.

“We must act now”, she said.

Yemen’s war has pitted pro-government forces

against Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their

allies, renegade troops loyal to former

president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in

March 2015 to help the government retake the

capital Sanaa and swathes of the country’s

north and west.

Fighting in Yemen has killed more than 7,700

people over the past two years and forced 3.3

million people to flee their homes, according

to UN numbers.

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