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U.N. Appeals for 2 $Billion to Avert Famine in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A boy skips at a school in Yemen’s capital Sana’a sheltering people. Photo: Reuters

New York- The United Nations appealed Wednesday for 2.1 billion dollars to provide desperately needed aid to 12 million people – around half of Yemen’s population – in the war-ravaged country this year.

“Two years of war have devastated Yemen and millions of children, women and men desperately need our help,” warned U.N. humanitarian aid chief Stephen O’Brien in a statement.

“Without international support, they may face the threat of famine in the course of 2017 and I urge donors to sustain and increase their support to our collective response,” he told a news briefing in Geneva.

Last year, U.N. agencies and other partners provided aid to 5.6 million people in Yemen. This year, they hope to more than double that number.

Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, said: Nearly 3.3 million people – including 2.1 million children – are acutely malnourished.”

George Khoury, the country director for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, spoke to U.N. radio, saying “We launched the humanitarian response plan for Yemen and we are appealing for 2.1 billion dollars to be able to assist 12 million people.”

“According to our estimates there are 19 million people who are in need for some sort of humanitarian assistance. However we have prioritized 12 million. These are the people who are in most acute need.”

“This year, we are hoping that the donors will be more,” Khoury said.

“Any shortfalls in the funding will have grave repercussions on the humanitarian situation,” he warned.