Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 1 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
For the good of Yemenis
April 28, 2017
 Print    Send to Friend

Countries around the world on Tuesday pledged more than one billion dollars to help prevent a looming famine in war-torn Yemen at a conference UN chief Antonio Guterres called a “remarkable success.”

Yet the $1.1 billion (1.0 billion euros) promised fell far short of the $2.1 billion the United Nations has estimated is needed this year alone in a country facing “a tragedy of immense proportions.”

But Guterres praised the generosity of donor nations, pointing out that such conferences generally do not gather more than a third of the requested amount.

This shows a “remarkable solidarity with the Yemeni people,” the UN secretary general told reporters.

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, who along with his Swedish counterpart co-hosted the conference, also applauded the results but acknowledged that “we need even more.”

When opening the conference Tuesday morning, Guterres had said it was vital to act quickly.

“We are witnessing the starving and the crippling of an entire generation,” he said, adding that Yemen is gripped by “the world’s largest hunger crisis”.

He warned that children especially were already dying at an alarming rate, but stressed that “a famine can be prevented if we act quickly and commit to funding crucial life-saving assistance”.

The UN had already said back in February that it would need $2.1 billion to help avert famine in Yemen, but by the time Tuesday’s conference opened, that appeal had only been 15 per cent funded.



‘Writhing with hunger’

Yemen’s Prime Minister Ahmed ObaidMubarek Bin-Dagher had urged donors to be generous, describing how some of his compatriots were “writhing with hunger”.

“$2.1 billion is the minimum that we should plan on raising,” he told the conference.

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien meanwhile said that Yemen was “the world’s largest humanitarian crisis today.”

“We must do more and can do more,” he said, insisting that “we can, with your money and support, scale up, we can avert famine and the worst catastrophe.”

But O’Brien underlined that humanitarian aid alone would not resolve Yemen’s crisis.

“We need an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to negotiations and peace,” he said.

Yemen’s war has pitted pro-government forces against Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their allies, renegade troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to help the government retake the capital Sanaa and swathes of the country’s north and west.

Fighting in Yemen has killed more than 7,700 people over the past two years and forced 3.3 million people to flee their homes, according to UN numbers.

All UN mediation attempts and seven declared ceasefires have so far failed.



‘50 children

will die’

The conflict has dramatically deepened Yemen’s drawn-out humanitarian crisis, with a full 19 million people – two-thirds of the population – now in need of humanitarian aid, the UN said.

A total of 17 million of them are going hungry, including more than two million children currently considered acutely malnourished.

“On average, a child under the age of five dies of preventable causes in Yemen every 10 minutes,” Guterres said.

“This means 50 children in Yemen will die during today’s conference, and all those deaths could have been prevented.”

Many of the children who survive “will be affected by stunting and poor health for their entire lives,” he added.

Anthony Lake, head of the UN children’s agency, urged the world to act immediately, warning that “these children cannot wait for an official famine to be declared.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom noted that with two million children out of school, there is a growing risk of recruitment by armed groups, while two-thirds of girls are married off before the age of 18.

“We must act now”, she said.

Agence France-Presse

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
UAE donates $100m to Yemen
The United Arab Emirates, UAE, on Tuesday donated US$100 million to support Yemen during 2017, and vowed unwavering support for the Yemeni people. The donation was ann..
Michael Jansen: A key figure
Former Yemeni Prime Minister and statesman Abdel Karim al-Iryani died on Nov.8 at the age of 81 in hospital in Frankfurt, exiled by war in his beloved country. A tiny man..
UAE’s Yeoman Service In Yemen
The UAE plays a crucial role in Yemen today. It’s not only part of an alliance that’s trying to restore the country’s legitimate government, but it also brings succour to..
Michael Jansen: A bubbling cauldron
Yemen’s most recent political convulsions have ushered in a new order empowering formerly marginalised rebel Houthi tribesmen from the far north of the country. Under a p..
Joseph Logan: Divided between friends and foes
By prodding Yemen’s army to take on militants, the United States may entrench a split within its ranks and risks undermining the shaky political accord devised to stave o..
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright