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Donors pledge nearly $1.2B to help millions of people in war-torn Yemen: UN

Donors have pledged nearly $1.2 billion at a conference in Geneva to help the United Nations deliver aid this year to millions of people going hungry in war-ravaged Yemen.

“I’m glad to say that we’ve had 31 pledges announced today and these pledges come to just about $1.2 billion,” UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths announced at the end of the conference on Monday.

The United Nations says more than 21.7 million people — two-thirds of Yemen’s population — need humanitarian assistance this year. With its appeal, it aims to reach the 17.3 million most vulnerable of them.

“Together, let us at long last turn the tide of suffering. Let us give hope to the people of Yemen,” UN chief Antonio Guterres said in opening the conference in Geneva.

“We have a real opportunity this year to change Yemen’s trajectory and move towards peace.”

Last year, the UN raised more than $2.2 billion to enable aid agencies to reach nearly 11 million people across the country every month.

READ MORE: Is Yemen bracing for bloody flare-up as Houthis resume hostilities?

‘Ending the war’

Yemen has been wracked by a devastating war since 2014, pitting Iran-backed Houthi rebels against the internationally recognised government, supported by a Saudi-led military coalition.

Since then, the war has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths both directly and indirectly, and pushed the nation to the brink of famine.

A truce that began on April 2 last year expired on October 2, but many of its provisions have held, giving “a measure of hope for the future,” Guterres said.

“After years of death, displacement, destruction, starvation and suffering, the truce delivered real dividends for people,” he said.

Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalek Saeed told Monday’s conference: “Ending the humanitarian crisis starts with ending the war.”

READ MORE: Houthis stage attack on Yemen’s oil port in first after truce

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would pledge hundreds of millions of dollars, as he also called for a lasting end to the crisis.

“As long as the fighting goes on, so will the suffering,” he said in a video message.

In addition, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters in Geneva that the world “keeps closing its eyes far too often” on the “humanitarian catastrophe” unfolding in Yemen.

She said Germany would provide $127 million, mindful of the 400,000 children in the country suffering from “the severest, most extreme hunger”.

READ MORE: Türkiye supports Yemen’s territorial integrity, sovereignty: Cavusoglu

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