April 24, 2018

United Nations chief leads drive for aid pledges for war-battered Yemen

04 April 2018, 12:50 | Rufus Hill

Executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth

Executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth

On Tuesday, Yemeni forces announced that they attacked a "Saudi-led coalition warship" off the coast of Hudaydah in response to an air strike on Monday which claimed the lives of over 16 civilians, including women and children.

About Saudi Arabia's contradictory action, pledging about $1 billion for Yemen while blocking aid into the country, Guterres said, "Two things need to be seen separately".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the funding drive at a conference in Geneva aiming to raise $2.96 billion (2.4 billion euros) for this year.

The UN is seeking a $3 billion (Dh11bn) humanitarian plan for Yemen to help 22 million people who have been left in urgent need of aid.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than two million and driven the country - already the poorest on the Arabian Peninsula - to the verge of starvation.

Hodeidah port has become a launch pad for terrorist operations as well as for the smuggling of rockets and weapons, Al-Malki said while stressing that the command of the coalition forces will take all the necessary measures and means to maintain security and stability of maritime navigation and global trade on Bab-el-Mandeb strait and the Red Sea region.

There were conflicting reports on the number of rebels versus civilians killed in the strike, which was believed to have been carried out by the Saudi-led coalition.

Stepped up attacks: Yemen's Houthi rebels have scaled up attacks outside of its borders, recently launching a series of ballistic missiles towards airports and urban centers in Saudi Arabia. The United Nations said that blockade raised the danger of mass starvation, and it was partially lifted.

The UAE is a key player in the Saudi-led coalition now waging war on rebels in Yemen but Abu Dhabi has been at odds with Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for months, with both sides maintaining separate security forces based in the southern city of Aden.

Guterres called for Yemen's ports to be kept open to humanitarian and commercial cargo, especially food, medicines and fuel.

The Saudi coalition attack on Hodeidah killed 16 people including seven children, in what the United Nations described as "one of the deadliest attacks" on children in the country for years.

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