Saudi-led coalition announces $1.5-bn aid to Yemen


A Saudi-led military coalition on Monday announced $1.5bn in new humanitarian aid for Yemen, after the United Nations made what it called a record appeal for assistance for the war-ravaged country.

Russian Federation halted its diplomatic presence in Yemen last month because of the deepening conflict and Moscow has previously expressed concern about strikes by the Saudi-led coalition.

DEFENCE Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he will attend an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday to discuss Yemen's attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Yemen's humanitarian situation worsened due to a crippling blockade of rebel-held ports by the Saudi-led coalition.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in the conflict in March 2015 after the movement drove Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.

The country has been split into three factions since the civil war began in 2015 - the Iranian-back Houthis govern much of the west including the capital Sanaa, the Saudi-backed government forces controlling much of the centre whilst al Qaeda still has a significant pockets of control.

"The Houthis are responsible for the destruction and devastation in Yemen", he said, accusing Iran of supplying the rebels with more than 60 ballistic missiles that have been fired at the kingdom. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported previous year that airstrikes remained the single largest cause of civilian casualties.

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To date, more than 10,000 people have died during the war in Yemen and more than two million people have been displaced since fighting broke out, according to the UN.

The appeal, made on behalf of United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners, came as 11.3 million people "urgently require assistance to survive", United Nations aid agency OCHA said in a statement.

The Trump administration has expressed concern about conditions in Yemen and has called on Saudi Arabia to allow the free flow of humanitarian aid, fuel and goods at Yemeni ports.

Earlier this month, Norway suspended exports of weapons and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates over concerns they could be used in the war in Yemen.

Another almost 2 200 Yemenis have died of cholera amid deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions, the World Health Organisation says.

Germany will stop all arms exports to countries involved in the ongoing war in Yemen, a government spokesperson has announced.