The United States on Thursday urged the international community, especially regional countries, to meet their promises and increase funding for humanitarian assistance to Yemen and cautioned that aid programs could otherwise be forced to close.
U.S. Special Envoy to Yemen Timothy Lenderking told a webinar sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations that humanitarian programs for Yemen will start to close unless contributions increase in the next few months.
Six years of war have killed tens of thousands of Yemenis, mostly civilians, and left millions on the verge of famine. Around 80 percent of Yemen’s population, or 24 million people, rely on humanitarian relief to survive.
The World Food Program in April 2020 halved food aid to deliveries every other month in parts of Yemen controlled by the Houthi movement after donors cut funding, partly over concerns about obstruction of aid.
Additional funds have began flowing since U.N. officials said in April that Yemen could face the world’s worst famine in decades as violence escalated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.