Riyadh, Geneva – International donors pledged to offer $1.1 billion during Tuesday’s high-level event, raising more than half of the $2.1 billion needed to address the humanitarian crisis in the country during 2017.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was optimistic that the second half of the sum could be raised by next December.
At the meeting of the humanitarian response plan for Yemen 2017, Saudi Arabia pledged the highest sum by giving $150 million, while the UAE and Kuwait each offered $100 million.
Other contributions were made by the European Union that pledged $123 million and by the US, which announced $94 million.
Abdullah Al-Rabeaa, adviser to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia, said during the meeting that the sum pledged by the Kingdom during Tuesday’s conference was “in addition to $100 million provided since the beginning of 2017.
Al-Rabeaa added that the new donation comes as part of the total $8.2 billion committed by the Kingdom within its humanitarian and developmental assistance since April 2015 to date.
During the one-day conference held in Geneva under the auspices of the UN and with the support of the Swedish and Swiss governments, Guterres addressed the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen and said the two years of conflict have devastated the lives of ordinary Yemenis.
“Nearly two-thirds of the population, or almost 19 million people, need emergency support. Some 17 million are food-insecure, making this the world’s largest hunger crisis. And seven out of 22 governorates are facing a severe food security emergency,” the UN Secretary General said.
He added that “on average, a child under the age of five dies of preventable causes in Yemen every ten minutes. And this means fifty children in Yemen will die during today’s conference.”