Oxfam: Yemen most at risk of virus-related hunger

Children of Abdullah Al-Sharaabi, a Yemeni who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stand outside their home in Aden, Yemen July 1, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 09 July 2020

Oxfam: Yemen most at risk of virus-related hunger

  • Yemen was ranked as the country most at risk of a hunger crisis
  • The economic shock to the Gulf caused by COVID-19 and unprecedented slumps in the oil industry also had an impact on Yemen

LONDON: Yemen and Syria are among the countries most at risk of hunger crises in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Oxfam report titled “The Hunger Virus: How COVID-19 is Fuelling Hunger in a Hungry World.”

Yemen was ranked as the country most at risk of a hunger crisis, with Oxfam saying 15.9 million people, or 53 percent of the population, could face starvation.

The report cited how conflict had damaged the country’s infrastructure and its ability to both produce and import food.

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READ MORE: UN warns Yemen on brink of famine again

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The economic shock to the Gulf caused by COVID-19 and unprecedented slumps in the oil industry also had an impact on Yemen, with financial support through remittances and donations down over 80 percent from neighboring countries in the first four months of 2020, said the report. 

It added that food imports to Yemen, which was already importing 90 percent of its food before the pandemic, were down 43 percent in March and 39 percent in April.

In June, the report said, Yemen had discovered more than 900 COVID-19 cases and recorded over 250 deaths, but those figures were likely to be underestimates due to the state of the country’s health-care services.


UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

Updated 24 September 2020

UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

  • They discussed possible investment opportunities in renewable energies

DUBAI/JERUSALEM: The energy ministers of the UAE and Israel discussed possible cooperation and investment opportunities, including natural gas exports to Europe, in a video call on Wednesday, Emirates state news agency WAM reported.
A statement said the two minster discussed possible investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, oil, gas and renewable energy, as the UAE plans to the shift toward green energies.
During the call, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Al-Mazroui “reviewed the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which is the first unified energy plan in the country that balances production and consumption aspects and global environmental obligations and ensures a comfortable economic environment for growth in all sectors.”
The two sides also focused on advanced technology companies in the field of energy and cybersecurity.
Israel and the UAE signed an agreement on Sept. 15 to establish diplomatic relations, an accord that Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in the statement presented a “historic opportunity” for energy development in the region.
“I spoke (with the UAE energy minister) on cooperating in linking power grids and developing the natural gas market for exports via pipeline to Europe ... as well as other projects,” an Israeli statement quoted Steinitz as saying.
The statement, released by Steinitz’s office, said he proposed the UAE join an Egypt-based energy forum that seeks to promote natural gas exports from the east Mediterranean.
“They (the UAE) said they would examine the issue,” the Israeli statement said.
Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan signed a charter on Tuesday establishing the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).
The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region.
(With Reuters)