Geneva, Feb 27: To address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the UN reached aid warehouses in the country's frontlines. It also raised about $2.6bn of the $4bn of the needed amount, UN officials said on Tuesday.
Yemen urgently needs financial help to address the humanitarian crisis in the country, where about 80,000 children below the age of five have already died of hunger.
The two main donors were Saudi Arabia and UAE, contributing $500m each which saw a 30-percent increase of total pledges from last year, Al Jazeera News reported. The UN had described present condition in Yemen as the "world's worst humanitarian crisis".
About 24 million people, 80 percent of the population, need humanitarian aid and protection, UN officials said at the conference.
About 20 million people cannot feed themselves reliably, out of which about 10 million Yemenis are just one step away from famine, according to UN figures. The worst affected by the conflict are the children. About 80,000 children below the age of five have already died of starvation, according to a report quoted by Guterres.
About 360,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition with life threatening consequences.
According to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, every ten minutes in Yemen a child is dying of a preventable disease because of the lack of essential health services. More than two million children are not being able to go to school.
"Today Yemen is the worst place on earth for a child," Cappelaere told Al Jazeera. "I invite the parties to think of their own children when they sit at the negotiating table next time."
Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Houthis have seized control of the capital Sanaa, the Hodeidah port and most of the northeastern part of the country.
Out of 10 million on the verge of famine, nearly 240,000 of those people are right now facing catastrophic levels of hunger. Almost 20 million people lack access to adequate healthcare, and nearly 18 million don't have enough clean water or access to adequate sanitation. More than three million people - including two million children - are acutely malnourished. About 3.3 million remain displaced from their homes, including 685,000 who have fled fighting along the west coast since June 2018.
The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 requires about $4bn to reach 15 million across the country. The pledges made in Geneva will go towards increasing the number of people reached with emergency food aid to 12 million every month, from the 10 million of December last year, amongst other essential health and assistance plans.
Guterres also announced the UN had regained access to a stocking facility that can potentially feed some 3.7 million people for up to one month. “We have a good news, we have access to the Red Sea Mills again,” said Guterres. UNI