UN warns of severe aid cuts in Yemen without new funds soon

The aid provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) for distribution is pictured in Sanaa, Yemen on August 21, 2019. (REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi)
Updated 22 August 2019

UN warns of severe aid cuts in Yemen without new funds soon

  • Donors have pledged $2.6 billion to meet the urgent needs of more than 20 million Yemenis
  • But UN humanitarian chief Lise Grande says less than half the amount has been received so far

UNITED NATIONS: The UN humanitarian chief in Yemen warned Wednesday that unless significant new funding is received in the coming weeks, food rations for 12 million people in the war-torn country will be reduced and at least 2.5 million malnourished children will be cut off from life-saving services.
Lise Grande said the UN was forced to suspend most vaccination campaigns in May, and without new money a “staggering” 22 life-saving programs in Yemen will close in the next two months.
At a UN pledging conference in February, donors pledged $2.6 billion to meet the urgent needs of more than 20 million Yemenis, but Grande said that to date, less than half the amount has been received.
“When money doesn’t come, people die,” she said in a statement Wednesday.
The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by Iran-backed Houthi Shiite rebels who control much of the country’s north. A Saudi-led coalition that includes the United Arab Emirates allied with Yemen’s internationally recognized government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.
The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country has left thousands of civilians dead and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and pushing the country to the brink of famine.
UN deputy humanitarian chief Ursula Mueller told the Security Council on Tuesday that 12 million Yemenis have been assisted every month, “but much of this is about to stop” because only 34% of the UN’s $4.2 billion appeal for 2019 has been funded.
At this time last year, she said, 65% of the appeal was funded, including generous contributions from Yemen’s neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The UN humanitarian office in New York said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia and the UAE each pledged $750 million to its Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019.
Grande said the UN is grateful to donors who have lived up to their promises, and in half the districts where people were facing famine “conditions have improved to the point where families are no longer at risk of starvation.”
But she said of the 34 major UN humanitarian programs in Yemen, only three are funded for the entire year. Several have been forced to close in recent weeks, Grande said, and many large-scale projects designed to help destitute, hungry families have been unable to start.
Without new funds in the coming weeks, she said, 19 million people will also lose access to health care, including 1 million women who depend on the UN for reproductive health services. In addition, Grande said, clean water programs for 5 million people will have to shut down at the end of October and tens of thousands of displaced families may find themselves homeless.
“Millions of people in Yemen, who through no fault of their own are the victims of this conflict, depend on us to survive,” she said. “All of us are ashamed by the situation. It’s heart-breaking to look a family in the eye and say we have no money to help.”


Egyptian ministry launches mobile app

Egyptian police guard in front of the new government district in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) east of Cairo, Egypt May 2, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 8 min 19 sec ago

Egyptian ministry launches mobile app

  • The app is available for Android users, and officials are working on making it available for iOS users as well, communications expert Ashraf El-Wardany told Arab News

CIARO: The Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs has launched Kallem Masr (Call Egypt), a mobile app to facilitate communication with citizens living abroad.
Nabila Makram, minister of immigration and Egyptian expatriates affairs, said the free app includes a monthly electronic magazine issued by the ministry in both Arabic and English.
The app is available for Android users, and officials are working on making it available for iOS users as well, communications expert Ashraf El-Wardany told Arab News.
Android users can download the app from Google Play. Its sections include questions and answers, contact us, complaints, an interactive map of locations of embassies and consulates, and a news section on the ministry’s activities.

HIGHLIGHT

Android users can download the app from Google Play. Its sections include questions and answers, contact us, complaints, an interactive map of locations of embassies and consulates, and a news section on the ministry’s activities.

Islam El-Souissi, an Egyptian community leader in Rome, praised the app, saying “all Egyptians living abroad are expressing their great happiness” about it.
But some Egyptians who visited the app’s page on Google Play said it is not available in some countries such as Sweden. Others complained that they had problems logging in.