Saudi Arabia’s donor conference ‘embodies Kingdom's support’ of Yemen

Saudi Arabia will host a donor conference to support Yemen on June 2. (File/KSRelief)
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Updated 01 June 2020

Saudi Arabia’s donor conference ‘embodies Kingdom's support’ of Yemen

  • The conference aims to draw financial pledges from international donors
  • The Kingdom is urging other donor countries to participate

RIYADH: A donor conference organized by Saudi Arabia reflects the Kingdom’s support for the Yemeni people, Yemen’s government said Monday.
The conference, which is set to get underway on Tuesday, aims to draw financial pledges from international donors to help meet the basic needs of the Yemeni people. 
The event will also raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis left by the war triggered by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said Yemen is facing difficult circumstances that need the rapid intervention of humanitarian organizations.
“Organizing, sponsoring, and hosting the donor conference in Saudi Arabia, and the support that it has devoted, embodies the Kingdom’s supportive positions for the Yemeni people facing difficult circumstances and unstable situations that require urgent support and rapid and continuous intervention from international humanitarian and relief agencies and organizations,” Al-Iryani said on Twitter.
The Donors’ Conference for Yemen 2020 will be held virtually and is an extension of Saudi Arabia’s global humanitarian and development contribution. 
The Kingdom is urging other donor countries to participate. The UN said that the aim is to raise some $2.4 billion to pay for the world’s biggest aid operation.
Al-Iryani added that “the Kingdom’s role in supporting and financing relief and development projects in Yemen was and remains pivotal and major, as Saudi grants work to meet the basic needs and services of Yemeni citizens, in cooperation with specialized international UN humanitarian and relief agencies and organizations.”
He said that the conference will contribute to helping community support programs that “lead to achieving self-sufficiency for beneficiary families,” and also support economic activity in various Yemeni governorates, thus reducing dependence on humanitarian aid and providing new job opportunities for the Yemeni people.
The community programs that the donor conference will support aim to provide sustainability by utilizing, investing and developing local resources, Al-Iryani said.
Rehabilitating orphans, economic empowerment of fishermen, supporting productive families, and providing assistance to farmers, were among the examples he gave. 
The conference also aims to finance and support health projects to help tackle chronic diseases, as well as an outbreak of COVID-19 that is spreading rapidly through parts of the country.
The minister said educational projects, women support programs, childcare projects, and work to rehabilitate fighters would also benefit.


Yemen’s terrifying, severely damaged road to Taiz on brink of collapse

Vehicles are pictured on a damaged road, the only travel route between Yemen’s cities of Taiz and Aden. Yemen has been left in ruins by six years of war, where over 24 million people are in need of aid and protection. (AFP)
Updated 26 September 2020

Yemen’s terrifying, severely damaged road to Taiz on brink of collapse

  • Convoys of vehicles big and small move at a snail’s pace as they squeeze past each other on the narrow road that has been severely damaged over the years by heavy rainfall

TAIZ: Lorries filled to the brim with goods labor up and down the dangerously winding and precipitous road of Hayjat Al-Abed, the mountainous lifeline to Yemen’s third largest city.
Unlike all other routes linking southwest Taiz to the rest of the war-torn country, the road — with its dizzying drop-offs into the valley below — is the only one that has not fallen into the hands of the Houthi rebels.
Some 500,000 inhabitants of the city, which is besieged by the Iran-backed Houthis, depend on the 7-km stretch of crater-filled road for survival, as the long conflict between the insurgents and the government shows no signs of abating.
Convoys of vehicles big and small move at a snail’s pace as they squeeze past each other on the narrow road that has been severely damaged over the years by heavy rainfall.
“As you can see, it is full of potholes, and we face dangerous slopes,” Marwan Al-Makhtary, a young truck driver, told AFP. “Sometimes trucks can no longer move forward, so they stop and roll back.”
Makhtary said nothing was being done to fix the road, and fears are mounting that the inexorable deterioration will ultimately bring the supply of goods to a halt.
Dozens of Taiz residents on Tuesday urged the government to take action, forming a human chain along the road — some of them carrying signs saying: “Save Taiz’s Lifeline.”

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500,000 inhabitants of Taiz, which is besieged by the Iran-backed Houthis, depend on the 7-km stretch of crater-filled road for survival.

“We demand the legitimate government and local administration accelerate efforts to maintain and fix the road,” said one of the protesters, Abdeljaber Numan.
“This is the only road that connects Taiz with the outside world, and the blocking of this artery would threaten the city.”
Sultan Al-Dahbaly, who is responsible for road maintenance in the local administration, said the closure of the road would represent a “humanitarian disaster” in a country already in crisis and where the majority of the population is dependent on aid.
“It is considered a lifeline of the city of Taiz, and it must be serviced as soon as possible because about 5 million people (in the province) would be affected,” he told AFP.

Humanitarian aid
Meanwhile, Yemen’s president on Thursday urged his government’s rival, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, to stop impeding the flow of urgently needed humanitarian aid following a warning from the UN humanitarian chief last week that “the specter of famine” has returned to the conflict-torn country.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s plea came in a prerecorded speech to the UN General Assembly’s ministerial meeting being held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aired more than a week after Human Rights Watch warned that all sides in Yemen’s conflict were interfering with the arrival of food, health care supplies, water and sanitation support.