‘Disappointing’ aid for hunger-stricken Yemen


As the country heads into an eighth year of war, Yemen is considered one of the world’s largest and most complex humanitarian crises: debilitated basic services, a collapsed economy, an estimated 20.7 million people (more than two thirds of the population) in need—all amid escalating conflict involving numerous different actors. On March 16, the UN appealed to donor states for $4.3 billion in aid for Yemen. Donors coughed up less than a third of that request, with pledges—mainly from Western states—amounting to $1.3 billion. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia—top donors to Yemen in previous years—pledged nothing, while Kuwait pledged a surprisingly low $10 million. The UN’s humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, called the result “a disappointment.” The outcome is in stark contrast to Ukraine’s pledging conference just two weeks prior, considered the “fastest and most generous” response ever to a flash appeal. As the world’s attention is fixated on Ukraine, aid workers worry that it could draw resources away from other crises, such as Yemen.

From The New Humanitarian, March 18

Photo: OCHA

  1. Ramadan ceasefire in Yemen

    The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen began a unilateral cease-fire on March 30 in recognition of the humanitarian crisis. The coalition cease-fire will overlap, at least for a week, with a separate cease-fire declared by the Houthis ahead of the start of Ramadan.

    The coalition announced its cease-fire at a Yemen-focused conference in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, bringing together officials from around the Persian Gulf and representatives of the Yemeni government and allied factions—but not the Houthis. (NYT)

  2. Political shakeup in Yemen

    Yemen’s exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi ceded power to a presidential council on April 7 in a shock move supported by Hadi’s main backer Saudi Arabia. Houthi chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam criticized the move as a farce and a “desperate attempt to restructure the ranks of mercenaries to push them towards further escalation.” (CNN)