Saudi Arabia, UAE giving $200m in aid to Yemen for Ramadan

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Time: April 09, 2019  

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, KSRelief supervisor general, vows to continue relief works despite Houthi ‘transgressions.’ AN photo
  • Iranian-backed Houthis using ‘starvation as political tool’
  • The funding is allocated to UN partners: World Food Programme, UNICEF and WHO

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will allocate $200 million as urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen, the supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) said on Monday.

The assistance comes a few weeks before Ramadan, and will enable Yemenis to observe the holy fasting month, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah added.

“Every year for Ramadan, we have large programs for iftar (breaking the fast), especially in Yemen and for all countries in need,” he said.

The funding is allocated to UN partners: $140 million to the World Food Programme, $40 million to UNICEF to address sanitation issues and malnutrition among children and mothers, and $20 million to the World Health Organization to tackle cholera and provide intravenous feeding fluids.

“Transgressions” by the Houthi militia “will not stop us from supporting Yemen, especially with the holy month of Ramadan upon us,” Al-Rabeeah said.

“We were able to contain cholera before, but now we face two problems: The rainy season, and its spread in places where the Houthi militia is prevalent,” he added.

“We’re serious about reaching all parts of Yemen to eliminate this disease (cholera) and any (others) that the Yemeni people face,” he said.

“We must recognize that the Saudi-led coalition forces (supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government) make sure the assistance reaches through ports or land. However, when the aid reaches militia-controlled regions, there are obstacles preventing beneficiaries from gaining proper access to humanitarian aid. That starvation method is a political tool that the Houthis use to control Yemen.” Al-Rabeeah said there must be accountability for these abuses.

This article was first published in Arab News

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