US announces more than $400 mln in humanitarian aid to Yemen

The US announced more than $400 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen on Monday, bringing the total amount to over $5.4 billion since the war began.

The new assistance was Washington’s pledge during a donor conference in Geneva, where the United Nations said over $4 billion was needed to help millions of Yemenis in the war-torn country.

“The United States’ commitment to alleviating the suffering of millions from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains resolute,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

He said the aid would enable partners to deliver “life-saving aid to Yemen’s most vulnerable people.”

But, he noted, “much more” aid is needed. Blinken called on all donors to do their part in helping raise the $4.3 billion the UN said is required.

In a similar conference last year, little funding forced the UN to cut large parts of programs in Yemen, including emergency food assistance.

Nevertheless, the top US diplomat said there was a “glimmer of hope” as the country was experiencing the best opportunities for peace in years.

“The international community must do everything we can to help – including through strong support to the Yemen humanitarian response – to build further positive momentum and ensure Yemenis see the tangible benefits peace can bring,” Blinken said.

The internationally-recognized Yemeni government and the Houthi militia have been locked in a yearslong war after the Iran-backed group seized control of the capital Sanaa in 2014.

Last month, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said there had been progress towards ending the war, but more work was needed, including reinstating a truce and transitioning to a permanent ceasefire.

A UN-brokered truce that began on April 2 last year expired on October 2 after the Houthis refused to extend.

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