Fighting grips Aden as UN envoy seeks truce

Updated 05 July 2015
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Fighting grips Aden as UN envoy seeks truce

ADEN: Fighting gripped Yemen’s second city Aden on Sunday as the UN envoy arrived in the rebel-held capital Sanaa to press efforts to broker a cease-fire.
Saudi-led warplanes bombed rebel positions, while rebel rocket fire killed six, including a child, officials said.
The dead from the Katyusha fire were Somali refugees who had sought shelter in a kindergarten, medics said.
In neighboring Lahj province, loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi attacked a rebel gathering, killing 11, military sources said.
They also attacked the rebel-held Al-Anad air base, Yemen’s largest. Eight rebels and two Hadi loyalists were killed, the sources said.
UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrived in Sanaa for talks with the rebels and their allies on his cease-fire plans.
He told reporters at the airport that he was hoping “rapidly to secure a humanitarian truce” which could pave the way for a “peaceful settlement of the crisis which has turned into a catastrophe.”
On Wednesday, the United Nations declared Yemen a level three emergency, the highest on its scale.
More than 21.1 million people — over 80 percent of Yemen’s population — are in need of aid, with 13 million facing food shortages.


Donors pledge over $110 million to help Palestinian refugees

Updated 37 min 38 sec ago
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Donors pledge over $110 million to help Palestinian refugees

  • The $1.2 billion budget for UNRWA provides education, health care, food and other services to Palestinian refugees
  • The Trump administration cut all funding for UNRWA this year

UNITED NATIONS: Donors have pledged over $110 million to help some 5 million Palestinian refugees, an amount the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees called encouraging.
But Pierre Kraehenbuehl in an announcement Tuesday after a donor’s conference at UN headquarters said, however: “The situation does remain precarious.”
The $1.2 billion budget for the UN Relief and Works Agency provides education, health care, food and other services to refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The Trump administration cut all funding for UNRWA this year.
Kraehenbuehl said the agency covered its expenses through May 30 but is now operating in deficit.
He expressed hope the $110 million will bridge UNRWA’s funding in coming months but said another pledging conference will be needed.