Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait pledge $1.25bn to Yemen aid effort

A girl carries a child near a hut in an improvised camp for internally displaced people near Abs of the northwestern province of Hajja, Yemen. (Reuters)
Updated 27 February 2019

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait pledge $1.25bn to Yemen aid effort

  • Approximately 24 million people are affected by the humanitarian crisis in Yemen
  • The conference hopes to raise $4 billion in aid

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia pledged $500 million on Tuesday in humanitarian assistance for Yemen this year during a UN money-raising conference in Geneva.

The UAE also pledged $500 million while Kuwait committed $250 million for Yemen.

The UN said 40 pledges totaling $2.6 billion were received during the day-long conference, a 30-percent increase from the amount drummed up at a similar conference a year ago.

The United Nations' "Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen" in 2019 seeks $4 billion to reach 15 million people across the country, after raising nearly $2.6 billion last year.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, opening the conference, lamented "an overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe" in Yemen, where some 24 million people, or four-fifths of Yemen's total population, require aid and protection.

"Twenty million people cannot reliably feed themselves or their families," he said. "Almost 10 million are just one step away from famine."

 Britain promised $264 million, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) $24 million. Malaysia was also pledging $100,000 during the conference.

This is the third pledging conference hosted by the United Nation to help what the organization deemed as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
The pledges came as UN officials said on Tuesday that aid workers regained access to key grain storage silos in Hodeida for the first time in six months.
The Houthis militants fighting the legitimate government had blocked the World Food Program from crossing a front line into the government-controlled area where the silos are located.
WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said some 51,000 metric tons of wheat — enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month — had been in storage at the site when it was rendered inaccessible. He said an assessment is under way to determine the state of the wheat.

*With AP and AFP


US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

Updated 18 June 2019

US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

DUBAI/WASHINGTON: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were “defensive purposes,” citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in a statement.
Reuters first reported plans to send US additional troops to the Middle East earlier on Monday.
Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked, more than a year after President Donald Trump announced Washington was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to “nuclear blackmail.”