UN warns of Yemen ‘death sentence’ as donor pledges fall short

The United Nations chief has warned of a “death sentence” for Yemen as an international donor conference yielded less than half the funds needed to fund urgently needed humanitarian programmes and prevent a devastating famine in the war-ravaged country.

The UN had appealed for $3.85bn at Monday’s virtual pledging event that was co-hosted by Sweden and Switzerland, but just $1.7bn was offered.

“Millions of Yemeni children, women and men desperately need aid to live. Cutting aid is a death sentence,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement, describing the outcome as “disappointing”.

“The best that can be said about today is that it represents a down payment. I thank those who did pledge generously, and I ask others to consider again what they can do to help stave off the worst famine the world has seen in decades,” Guterres said.

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