Starvation is threatening some 16 million people in war-torn Yemen as food rations will be cut in October amid lack of funding, the head of the UN World food program warned.
David Beasley said Wednesday at a high-level meeting on Yemen’s humanitarian crisis that the United States, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other donors stepped up when the World Food Program was running out of money earlier this year and “because of that we averted famine and catastrophe.”
WFP is running out of money again and without new funding reductions will be made in rations for 3.2 million people in October and for 5 million by December, he said.
At a virtual pledging conference co-hosted by Sweden and Switzerland on March 1, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for $3.85 billion for Yemen this year. But donors pledged less than half the amount – $1.7 billion, which the U.N. chief called “disappointing.” In the last six months, the total has grown to just over half the amount required.
The high-level meeting Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly’s annual meeting raised about $600 million, according to the European Union, which co-hosted the session with Sweden and Switzerland. That still leaves at least $1 billion unfunded.
In major pledges, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $290 million in humanitarian assistance for Yemen and the European Union said it was allocating an additional 119 million euros (about $139 million) in humanitarian and development aid.