UN raises nearly $1.2B to assist with escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen News
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UN raises nearly $1.2B to assist with escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres Monday led a pledging event to raise funds to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen which has been ongoing since 2014. UN Relief Coordinator Martin Griffith praised the 31 pledgees who contributed a total of $1.16 billion in funds, despite falling short of the UN’s goal of $4.3 billion.

Video footage released on the UN’s website shows the UN representative for Kuwait, Tareq M A M Albanai, reaffirming the states’ position of support for the “international efforts to achieve stability in Yemen.” Albanai went on to pledge three additional grants totaling $5 million. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the Houthi movement in Yemen for blocking ports and exports. Blinken said that the trade routes are a “lifeline for Yemeni people” and that the Houthi’s actions “must end.” The US contribution was the highest at $444.21 million. Other contributions included $204.72 million from the European Commission and $106.80 million from the UK.

Alongside state representatives there were also international organizations present in the event. Tamdeen Youth Foundation (TYF), a Yemeni national non-governmental organization, represented the people of Yemen. TYF said the main issue in Yemen is the “displacement of people.”

ReliefWeb, a a humanitarian information service provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), released a “Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2023” in January. The plan states 17.3 million people are in need of humanitarian support. This is a result of “conflict, displacement and economic deterioration.” Yemen,  however is neither in a “full scale war nor does it benefit from formal peace.” The main problem, which was also highlighted in the event on Monday, is the blockage of trade. People in need are not receiving necessary resources due to the “Houthi de facto authorities.”

In November 2022, UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk denounced the Houthi movement for committing war crimes in Yemen. Yemen’s civil war began in September 2014, when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including Sana’a. In early 2015, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia entered the war to restore the Yemeni government to power. Roads around Yemen’s third largest city have been blocked by Houthi forces since 2015.