Lack of funds forces UN to close down 15 aid programs in Yemen
Sanaa, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- The United Nations have reduced or shut down 15 key aid programs in Yemen during the past five months due to lack of funds, the organization said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement added that another 30 humanitarian programs would face the same fate if the cash shortage was not resolved.
“Fifteen of the United Nations’ 41 major humanitarian programs in hard-hit Yemen have already been reduced or shut down and 30 more will be in coming weeks unless additional funding is received,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande said.
Between April and August, agencies have been forced to reduce food distributions, cut health services in more than 300 facilities and halt specialized services for hundreds of thousands of traumatized and highly vulnerable women and girls, according to Grande.
“It’s an impossible situation,” Grande added. “This is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world yet we don’t have the resources we need to save the people who are suffering and will die if we don’t help.”
Grande stressed that the consequences of under-funding were immediate, enormous and devastating.
“Nearly every humanitarian worker has had to tell a hungry family or someone who is ill that we can’t help them because we don’t have funding,” she said.
“Donors have been incredibly generous during the war, providing billions of dollars to support people who have nowhere to go and no one else to turn to,” Grande continued. “But this year, we are falling short, way short, of what we need.”
Only $1 billion of the $3.2 billion needed has been received this year, according to Grande.
The Yemeni Saudi-backed government and the Houthi rebels have been involved in a devastating power struggle since late 2014, in what is now seen as a proxy war between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.