UN says 'desperate' for Yemen aid funding

The UN said Wednesday (August 21st) it was "desperate" for funds in Yemen, after being forced to stop aid programmes due to a cash shortage that threatens to reduce food rations for 12 million people, AFP reported.

Several programmes "have been forced to close in recent weeks and many large-scale projects designed to help destitute, hungry families have been unable to start", said Lise Grande, the UN's humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen.

"This is the largest humanitarian operation in the world addressing the worst humanitarian crisis," she said in a statement.

"We are desperate for the funds that were promised."

Of 34 planned programmes for 2019, only three have been funded for the full year, the UN said.

Twenty-two other programmes face closure in the next two months if funding is not found, while food rations for 12 million people will be reduced.

At least 2.5 million malnourished children will not be able to access life saving services.

Grande said that less than half of the $2.6 billion that had been promised for this year had so far been received.

The UN said it was forced to suspend most of the country's vaccination campaigns in May, while plans to construct 30 new nutrition centres had been shelved.

A treatment plant that purifies the water used to irrigate agricultural fields shut in June, it added.

The UN said on August 9th that it will resume food deliveries in areas controlled by the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah), after a two-month pause.

The World Food Programme had halted distributions in Houthi-controlled territory in June following accusations of "diversion of food" meant for Yemeni civilians.

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