NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a “disappointing” $1.7 billion had been pledged by countries on Monday for humanitarian aid in Yemen – less than half the $3.85 billion the world body was seeking for 2021 to avert a large-scale famine.
“For most people, life in Yemen is now unbearable. Childhood in Yemen is a special kind of hell. Yemeni children are starving,” Guterres said as he opened the pledging conference.
After it concluded, he described the outcome as “disappointing” and warned in a statement: “Cutting aid is a death sentence.”
Some 16 million Yemenis – more than half the population of the Arabian Peninsula country – are going hungry, the UN says. Of those, five million are on the brink of famine, UN aid chief Mark Lowcock has said.
“This does not solve the problem,” Lowcock said after the pledging conference. “It’s going to be impossible with such limited resources to prevent a large-scale famine.”
Among the commitments on Monday were Saudi Arabia with $430 million, the US with $191 million, the UAE with $230 million and Germany with $240 million.