UAE to donate $230 million to Yemen ahead of UN donor conference

Prospects for one million Yemeni children to be boosted by UAE donations

Aden is the base of the internationally recognised government of Yemen Reuters
Aden is the base of the internationally recognised government of Yemen Reuters

The UAE is set to announce a boost of $230 million in the assistance it provides to Yemen ahead of a pledging conference to be hosted by Switzerland and Sweden on Monday.

The United Nations Pledging Conference will hear that the funds will be in addition to ongoing bilateral UAE assistance efforts in the country.

The donation is designed to underwrite international programmes that meet the medical, nutritional, and food security needs of the conflict-torn country. The UAE will work to ensure the funding is directed in support of the UN Humanitarian Response Plan.

“Over the course of the pandemic, the UAE has sent 122 tons of medical supplies to Yemen to boost the efforts of some 122,000 healthcare workers to contain Covid-19, as well as provided health-enhancing food and supplements through the World Food Programme, and support to other sectors such as education, health, and water,” said Reem Al Hashimy, the minister of state for International Cooperation.

UAE officials are conducting an ongoing review of the humanitarian situation in Yemen in co-ordination with international organisations. The review has put a priority on targeting improvements in indicators of health, food security, and malnutrition. This latest commitment will meet the food needs of six million Yemenis, including one million children, in response to the food security risks observed in some areas of Yemen.

“The UAE also acknowledges recent international efforts to ensure that critical aid is not obstructed from reaching the most vulnerable groups in society, specifically women and children,” she said. “We look forward to working with humanitarian actors on the ground, from both the UN as well as the INGO community, to ensure that aid is delivered to those that are in most need.”

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The UAE ended its military engagement in Yemen in 2019 but has continued to support a comprehensive political solution and the efforts of the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths.

“While this contribution comes at a critical moment for Yemen, it cannot replace broader efforts to achieve a political solution for the benefit of the Yemeni people, who have for too long suffered the impact of the worsening humanitarian situation. The international

community must come together to intensify efforts to bring about a sustainable solution for Yemen.”

The Riyadh agreement between the internationally-recognised government of Yemen and local political forces is a step towards a political solution to the impasse since the Houthi militia carried out a coup in 2014.

Almost all Yemenis depend on food imports, most of which come through one of the country’s main seaports in Hodeidah, which is under Houthi control.

The last available figures for UAE international aid spending showed a Dh28 billion ($7.62bn) budget and Yemen was the nation that received the most support. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation revealed that the amount of aid donated by the UAE was above UN targets for the sixth consecutive year.

The UN has set a target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) from donor countries. The Dh28bn figure amounts to 0.93 per cent of the UAE’s GNI of 2018.

In the past six years the UAE has provided more than $6 billion in assistance to Yemen, mainly on supporting efforts to alleviate the humanitarian situation. Donations have gone to the provision of public services to ensure education in schools, medical programs, and vital services such as energy and transportation.

The UAE has also been one of the largest international contributors to Yemen’s Covid-19 response.

Updated: February 26, 2021 07:33 PM


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