Saudi Arabia announces more than $200 million in UN aid funding to Yemen

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The investigation revealed that help pledged to UN businesses by Saudi Arabia for Yemen had greater than halved in 2020, falling from greater than $1 billion to simply $500 million this 12 months. Of this quantity, the UN advised CNN solely $23 million had to this point come by way of its enchantment.

The King Salman Humanitarian Support and Aid Centre (KSrelief) introduced the extra Saudi funding in a televised assertion Friday.

“At this time, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by the King Salman Humanitarian Support and Aid Centre (KSrelief), signed three essential agreements with UN organizations, particularly the World Meals Programme (WFP), the World Well being Group (WHO) and UNHCR for a complete of $204 million,” mentioned KSrelief’s Supervisor Normal, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah.

“The quantity was pledged by the Kingdom to help the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2020, and the Kingdom hopes that these UN organizations will do their utmost to implement these packages as quickly as potential,” he added.

The $204 million in funding introduced by KSrelief on Friday will type a part of the $500 million initially pledged by the Kingdom throughout a convention hosted by the United Nations and Saudi Arabia in June of this 12 months, $300 million of which was promised to UN businesses.

The funds introduced Friday will all go towards the UN Humanitarian Response Plan, with the lion’s share — $138 million — allotted to the WFP, in response to the UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

An extra $46 million has been allotted to WHO and $20 million to the UN refugee company, UNHCR, leaving $94 million of the $300 million pledged to UN businesses to be finalized, OCHA mentioned.

Kuwait additionally pledged $20 million at a high-level UN assembly on Yemen held Thursday however it isn’t but clear how the funds can be allotted, in response to OCHA.

“We welcome these developments and proceed to induce all donors to meet their pledges and enhance their help, given the more and more determined state of affairs on the bottom,” an OCHA spokeswoman mentioned.

Funding shortfalls

CNN’s report, printed Tuesday, revealed the devastating impression of funding cuts to humanitarian support organizations in Yemen by the US, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which have pushed the war-torn nation ever nearer to the brink of famine.

A spokesperson for KSrelief advised CNN on the time that the nation had been prepared to meet its unmet funding commitments to Yemen in July, however was ready to finalize agreements with the businesses, citing considerations over appropriation of support by the Iran-backed Ansarullah — often called Houthi rebels.

“Beforehand, there have been considerations concerning the lack of funding, however now we will assume that with the arrivals of the funds this afternoon, the UN organizations will start to implement their packages tomorrow, now that the cash is offered,” Al Rabeeah mentioned Friday.

“I can guarantee you that the funds can be transferred at the moment and that I don’t anticipate any delays,” he added.

The UN Monetary Monitoring Service (FTS) has since up to date the overall quantity obtained from Saudi Arabia to $231.1 million in funding to its Yemen humanitarian response plan. Nonetheless, in response to knowledge from the FTS, there may be nonetheless greater than $214 million in unmet funding commitments to Yemen from Saudi Arabia.

In Yemen, 80% of the inhabitants relies on support, however UN knowledge has revealed billions of {dollars} in funding shortfalls this 12 months alone.

The WFP additionally estimates that greater than 66% of individuals in Yemen are thought-about “meals insecure” and that greater than 14 million of them may die if they’re not capable of entry meals help from support teams working within the nation.

In response to KSrelief, Saudi authorities can be “intently following up” the state of affairs in Yemen to make sure that humanitarian packages are being funded to assist these most in want.

“We pray that these packages can be useful,” Al Rabeeah added.

The US, Saudi Arabia and UAE are key actors within the battle in Yemen, and in 2018 and 2019 they had been the largest donors to the UN response in Yemen.

In 2019, the US contributed virtually $1 billion to the UN enchantment, however this 12 months, it has donated lower than half that to this point, giving $411 million, UN knowledge exhibits. Regardless of the US’ sizeable minimize in funding, it’s nonetheless the largest donor to the UN’s Yemen enchantment.

A spokesperson for the US Company for Worldwide Improvement (USAID) advised CNN that the nation would resume all operations within the Houthi-controlled north “after we are assured that our companions can ship support with out undue Houthi interference and account for US help.”

The Houthis have positioned harsh restrictions on UN businesses making an attempt to entry components of the nation it controls within the north. Tensions have been excessive because the World Meals Program, together with the US and its allies, accused the Houthis of stealing meals support from different components of Yemen.

The Houthi rebels overthrew the internationally acknowledged authorities of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi in 2015. A Saudi-led coalition, wherein the UAE is a key accomplice, has waged a marketing campaign towards the Houthis for the previous 5 years, destroying a lot of the Houthi-controlled areas with US backing.

Earlier CNN investigations have proven that the US authorities profited from the conflict, by promoting Saudi Arabia and the UAE American-made bombs and armaments.

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