Yemen: Coalition countries pledge $1.25bn in humanitarian aid

New money is in addition to more than $16bn already given to the country in the past three years

FILE PHOTO: A soldier walks at Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad/File Photo
Powered by automated translation

Countries of the Arab Coalition have pledged US$1.25 billion (Dh4.59bn) for the Yemen humanitarian response plan, it was announced at a press conference on Wednesday night in Riyadh, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE committing to provide $1bn.

Earlier, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Co-operation, earlier confirmed that food and essential supplies have been stocked and prepared for immediate intervention

Speaking alongside Ms Al Hashimy at the press conference, Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), said delivery of aid would be difficult.


More on the Hodeidah offensive

Offensive for the liberation of Hodeidah enters second day - live updates

Opinion: The battle of Hodeidah is a watershed moment in the Yemen war


“Humanitarian work represents hope to all [those] who need it,” he said, “however, repeated violations by the Houthi militias in Yemen have made the humanitarian aid delivery process quite difficult.

Militias have seized ships carrying aid, threatened maritime navigation and plundered humanitarian aid, he continued.

The legitimate Yemeni government and the coalition have asked the UN and the international community to be allowed to intervene and help to guarantee the safe use of the port so that aid can reach the Yemeni people.

“The coalition would present a new humanitarian initiative aimed at intensifying aid and relief assistance through the port of Hodeidah to include all liberated areas,” Dr Al Rabeeah said.

So far, Saudi Arabia has provided more than $11b to Yemen, $1bn of which has come from KSrelief. More than 80 projects focused on children have been pioneered by KSrelief at a cost of $244 million, including programmes for the rehabilitation of child soldiers that include social, psychological, cultural and sports courses.

KSrelief has also provided health and malnutrition programmes, and those prioritising food security and shelter.

Meanwhile, despite the launch of the military operation, a World Food Programme-chartered vessel carrying 25,000 tonnes of wheat was able to unload supplies at Hodeidah Port on Wednesday – with 6,000 tonnes of that having already been distributed.