SANA’A (Dispatches) – Three out of four Yemenis will depend on food assistance in 2022, United Nations officials said ahead of a high-level pledging conference that aims to raise funds for the war-torn country.
The UN has stressed that $4.3bn is needed to address Yemen’s food shortages this year and prevent 19 million people from going hungry, and it hopes that attendees at the conference will meet that goal on Wednesday in Geneva.
“As of now, funding is drying up and agencies are stopping their work in Yemen,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said on Tuesday. “We need to replenish the food pipeline, provide shelter and send a message to Yemenis that we do not forget them.”
Officials have described a looming catastrophe in the country hit hard by the Saudi-led war.
Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the U.S. and several Western states.
The objective was to return to power the Hadi regime and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.
The war has stopped well shy of all of its goals, despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and turning entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
A senior Yemeni official reacted to a recent report that the Saudi-based Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering inviting the Ansarullah resistance movement and other Yemeni parties for consultations, saying the kingdom cannot be a mediator as it is a perpetrator of the bloody war.
“What is being circulated in the media about the GCC invitation for talks is in fact an invitation by Riyadh,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said in a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday.
“Riyadh is itself a party in the war, not a mediator,” he asserted.
The remarks came after two Persian Gulf officials told Reuters that formal invitations would be sent within days for the talks, planned to be held in Riyadh on March 29-April 7,to discuss military, political and economic aspects of the war.
In another development, Yemeni security forces managed to thwart a terror plot orchestrated by Saudi Arabia’s spy services to target security and stability in the capital Sana’a, as Riyadh and its allies keep a deadly war and siege against the country.
According to Yemen’s official Saba news agency, the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency (GIP) established a network of several operatives, equipped it with various types of munitions and explosive devices, and dispatched its members to regions recently liberated by Yemeni army troops and fighters from their allied Popular Committees to kill ordinary people and undermine peace.
It noted that Yemeni security forces had received information that the Saudi-affiliated terror cell was provided with three car bombs in the central province of Ma’rib and tasked with striking vital facilities in Sana’a and elsewhere in Yemen.