Saudi Arabia, UAE announce $500 million food aid for war-torn Yemen
20 November 2018
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates today pledged a fresh $500 million food aid programme for war-torn Yemen after the country's warring factions agreed to attend negotiations in Sweden aimed at ending more than three years of brutal war.
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabi’ah, general supervisor of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Relief and Works and Reem al-Hashimy, UAE minister of state for international cooperation announced the aid programme at a joint press conference in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE together lead a coalition of Arab states fighting against the Houthi movement that controls the Yemeni capital, the UN envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has said.
Griffiths told the UN Security Council on Friday that the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels had shown a "renewed commitment" to work on a political solution to end a war that has driven millions to the brink of famine.
In fact, thousands of Yemeni children are suffering from malnutrition and at least one baby girl is reported to have died at the malnutrition ward of the main hospital in Yemen's capital, Sanaa.
Four-month-old Hajar al-Faqeh reached the al-Sabeen hospital last week from Saada province, one of thousands of Yemeni children suffering from malnutrition in a country that has been pushed to the brink of famine by more than three years of war.
The aid comes at a crucial moment for Yemen where the warring sides have now agreed to attend peace talks, the UN envoy said, adding that the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels will attend negotiations in Sweden.
"I have received firm assurances from the leadership of the Yemeni parties - the government of Yemen, of course, first, and the Houthis - that they are committed to attending these consultations," he said.
"I expect them to appear for those consultations and indeed, so do the Yemeni people, who are desperate for a political solution to a war in which they are the main victims."
Griffiths said he planned to travel to the rebel-held capital Sanaa next week to finalise arrangements and even offered to travel with the Houthi delegation to Sweden "if that's what is needed."