United Nations Seeks $2.7 Billion for Aid to Yemen in 2024

United Nations Seeks $2.7 Billion for Aid to Yemen in 2024

UNITED NATIONS  РThe United Nations appealed for $2.7 billion on Thursday to pay for humanitarian aid operations this year in war-torn Yemen, where most of the 18 million people in need live in the north of the country ruled by the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

Peter Hawkins, the acting U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, described the amount of money the U.N. was seeking as more realistic than the $4.3 billion it asked for last year. The 2023 appeal was only about 40% funded.

Hawkins said the aim was to have a humanitarian program that better targets the most vulnerable and has a greater impact. He stressed that Yemen should not be forgotten as the world deals with multiple humanitarian crises.

“Continuous investment has bought benefits to the people of Yemen, to women, girls and boys,” he said.

He said a key challenge was tackling hunger in a country that imports nearly all its food.

War in Israel and Gaza

When asked if Yemen’s imports had been impacted by the recent Houthi disruption of world trade, Hawkins said: “It hasn’t yet, we’ve been monitoring the market prices, we’ve been monitoring the foods imports. It hasn’t affected it yet.”

The Houthis have been attacking ships in and around the Red Sea, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war. The campaign has disrupted global commerce, stoked fears of inflation and deepened concern that fallout from the Israel-Hamas war could destabilize the Middle East.

Hawkins also said he was hoping a U.S. decision in January to return the Houthis to a list of terrorist groups would not affect aid operations in Yemen. The U.S. designation comes into effect in mid-February, but Washington said it had issued “carve outs” aimed at avoiding any harm to Yemen’s civilian population.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since Houthis ousted the government from the capital Sanaa in late 2014. The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened in 2015, aiming to restore the government.

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