Donors led by the United States and the European Union pledged another $600 million for Yemen on Wednesday, but the United Nations said the financial crunch could mean millions of people starve.
The United States pledged an additional $290 million, but said the ultimate solution was to end the war that has led to what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian situation.
“Humanitarian aid makes a significant difference in people’s lives, but it alone cannot solve this crisis,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement at a pledge event at the United Nations.
He called on Saudi Arabia, which has led a disastrous air campaign in Yemen, as well as the Houthi rebels and the government to help ensure the flow of fuel to the country, a factor that has destabilized the economy and Staples are kept out of reach. Many Yemenis.
The European Union had promised 119 million euros ($139 million). Oxfam said a total of about $600 million had been promised, although a UN plea for $3.9 billion to help Yemen was still short of about $1 billion.
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, welcomed the new pledges, but said the UN agency still did not have enough to support the 12.9 million people dependent on aid, about half the country.
Beasley said the WFP expects it to cut rations for 32 million people in October and more in December.
While the charity has averted widespread famine, according to the United Nations, every 10 minutes a child in Yemen dies of preventable causes.
“We’re predicting that if we don’t receive funding in the next six months – that’s $800 million – when we start cutting rations, you can actually see that number go down in 5 years. 400,000 children may die by age one year,” Beasley said.
“What if she was your little girl, and your little boy? We have a moral obligation to speak up and step up,” he said.
Beasley also said the priority should be on ending the war, in which Houthi rebels have captured much of the country as they fight the Saudi-backed government and the Riyadh-led military coalition.
“If the donors are getting tired, well, end the war,” he said.