UN asks for $702M to deal with humanitarian crisis in Yemen

Thirty-year-old Mahdhar walks past the ruins of a youth and sports center in Zinjibar, Yemen. The United Nations for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued a revised appeal of $702 million to continue their operations in the country until the end of 2013. Photo by: A. Al-Sharif / UNHCR

In May 2012, top donors gathered at a conference hosted by Saudi Arabia pledged $4 billion to support development projects and stabilization efforts in Yemen, a country then feared to be on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

Almost a year and a half later funds are not sufficient, and the United Nations is asking for more money.

The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Monday issued a revised appeal of $702 million to continue their operations until the end of 2013.

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A statement from the OCHA mission in Yemen said the money is needed to assist 7.7 million people affected by conflict and instability since former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to step down by overwhelming popular pressure in 2012 and a transitional government was established.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed, head of OCHA in Sanaa, explained in a statement that the funds will go to providing food, clean water, health care and other vital services that are unavailable to most Yemenis since the state practically collapsed two years ago.

Ahmed noted that only 38 percent of their appeal has been fulfilled so far, according to data from the U.N. agency.

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    Carlos Santamaria

    As associate editor for breaking news, Carlos Santamaria supervises Devex's Manila-based news team and the creation of our daily newsletter. Carlos joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.