• Sofia Eugeniou

Britain announces £160m aid package for Yemen

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that Britain will allocate £160m to combat both the humanitarian and COVID-19 crisis in Yemen.

According to Raab, a package of British assistance “will be a matter of life and death for thousands of Yemeni people, who are now threatened by coronavirus”.

Saudia Arabia hosted a virtual U.N. conference to help raise a figure of $2.4bn (£1.9bn) to counter funding shortages for aid operations in Yemen.

With key financial aid entering the war-torn country from US and British governments, tensions over humanitarian funding have grown high in recent months. There are worries that the relief operation currently taking place - which is one of the biggest in the world - is not controlled enough and that aid fraud is obstructing millions of desperate people from receiving the help they need to survive.

According to the UN, a staggering 24 million people are in need of assistance - this makes up 80 per cent of Yemen's population.

Image credit: DW

There are serious concerns over Houthi rebels obstructing assistance, particularly as threats and incidents against humanitarian workers are increasing in Houthi-controlled areas.

A re-focus of all bilateral (and even UN) assistance will result in less funding to Houthi-controlled institutions as part of a new stance towards the group, which dominates much of north Yemen, including the capital city of Sana'a.

Yemen's humanitarian disaster is marked by widespread hunger, a cholera epidemic and economic collapse. These crises are the outcome of more than five and a half years of war that has pitted Houthi rebels and their allies against the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition.

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