Houthis use children to fuel war, Yemen’s PM tells UNICEF regional director

Houthi militia use children to fuel their war in Yemen, Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed says. (File/ AFP)
Updated 04 December 2018
0

Houthis use children to fuel war, Yemen’s PM tells UNICEF regional director

  • During a meeting in Aden, the Yemeni prime minister said children were the most vulnerable in the war
  • He said that the militia were abducting children from their homes

Houthi militia use children to fuel their war in Yemen, Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed told UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa on Monday in Aden, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

During a meeting in Aden with Khairat Kabalari, the Yemeni prime minister said children were the most vulnerable in the war and that the militia were abducting them from their homes and using them to fight on the front lines. 

Kabalari said UNICEF was working to expand its activities in Yemen in health, education, water and the environment, and to identify the emergency needs of the Yemeni people.


Jordan’s PM appeals for more aid as most Syrian refugees set to stay

Updated 20 February 2019
0

Jordan’s PM appeals for more aid as most Syrian refugees set to stay

  • Jordan PM says most refugees not returning yet
  • Amman says funding crucial to keep economy afloat

AMMAN: Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz appealed on Wednesday to major donors to continue multi-billion dollar funding for Syrian refugees in the kingdom, saying most of those who had fled the eight-year conflict had no intention of returning any time soon.
Razzaz told representatives of major Western donors, UN agencies and NGOs that relatively few refugees had gone back since Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s army last summer regained control of southern Syria, where most had fled from.
“The number of refugees that so far returned voluntarily is low and most have no intention of going back any time soon,” Razzaz told a meeting to launch a UN-funded government plan that earmarks $2.4 billion in funding needs for 2019.
Officials say only around 10,000 refugees out of a total estimated at 1.3 million had left since the two countries opened the vital Nassib-Jaber border crossing last October.
Razzaz echoed the UN view that unstable conditions inside Syria, where large-scale destruction, fear of retribution and military conscription has made many reluctant to return.
“We are now entering a new phase of the Syrian crisis, however the impact is still ongoing. The conditions for their return are not present,” Razzaz added.
The prime minister warned against donor fatigue in a protracted crisis where the needs of refugees and vulnerable Jordanians were largely unchanged.
Maintaining funding that covers education, health and crucial services for tens of thousands of Syrian refugees and local communities was crucial to ease rising pressures on the debt-burdened economy, he added.
“Aid helped Jordan in staying resilient in a difficult regional setting,” Razzaz said, adding the refugee burden had strained meagre resources such as water and electricity, with a donor shortfall covered from state finances.
Jordan is struggling to rein in record public debt of $40 billion, equivalent to 95 percent of gross domestic product, under a tough International Monetary Fund (IMF) austerity plan.
Major donors say more than $6 billion had been extended to Jordan since 2015, which economists credit for rejuvenating once sleepy northern border towns, while refugee entrepreneurship brought a pool of cheap labor and new skills, triggering a property boom and higher productivity.
The kingdom received around $1.6 billion last year alone.
“The level of funding to Jordan that still remains is exceptional in global comparison,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Anders Pedersen, adding needs had evolved from the humanitarian aid required early in the conflict to development projects that benefit the economy.