Saudi Arabia should fund all humanitarian aid to Yemen: WFP

Saudi Arabia should fund all humanitarian aid to Yemen: WFP
Tue Sep 5, 2017 08:39:21

A top United Nations official said Saudi Arabia alone should fund steps to tackle widespread disease and hunger besetting Yemen, where the kingdom has been leading a military campaign for two and a half years.

(reuters) -- Comments by David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, were unusually forthright for such a U.N. official in criticizing one party in a conflict. Calling for an end to the coalition’s campaign, he accused the Saudi-led coalition of hampering provision of aid.

“Saudi Arabia should fund 100 percent (of the needs) of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” he said, speaking to Reuters in Ethiopia during a trip to drought-affected areas. “Either stop the war or fund the crisis. Option three is, do both of them.”

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the war while widespread hunger and an unprecedented cholera epidemic have led aid agencies to describe Yemen as one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Beasley’s comments.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman donated $66 million in June to the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization (WHO) to help combat the cholera epidemic there.

The kingdom says hundreds of millions of dollars it has pledged to humanitarian programs has benefited civilians on both sides of Yemen’s conflict.

(Photo: David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, AFP)

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