Creating new perspectives since 2009

Canada pledges $35.4m in Yemeni relief

February 26, 2019 at 6:55 pm

This picture taken on November 22, 2018 shows Yemeni mother Nadia Nahari holding her five-year-old son Abdelrahman Manhash, who is suffering from severe malnutrition and weighing 5 kilograms, at a treatment clinic in the Khokha district in the western province of Hodeidah. (Photo by /AFP/Getty Images)

Canada announced Tuesday it would provide CAN$46.7 million ($35.4 million) to Yemen in a bid to help relieve the humanitarian crisis, Anadolu Agency reports.

The funds are on top of CAN$130 million ($98.6 million) pledged since 2015, bringing the total to CAN$176.7 million ($134 million).

“Canada’s support in Yemen is driven by our desire to end a terrible situation that has caused the suffering of so many people – especially women and children who bear the brunt of the crisis,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in making the announcement.

The U.N. reported near the end of last year that about 20 million people in Yemen are hungry and as many as 250,000 were in danger of starvation. The conditions remain relatively unchanged.

UNICEF: 2m Yemen children are out of school 

“The human cost of the ongoing conflict in Yemen is dire,” Freeland said.

The Yemeni conflict was ignited in 2014 when Iranian-sponsored Houthi rebels captured the capital of Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia led a coalition against the Houthis and airstrikes have taken a terrible toll on Yemen civilians, killing at least 10,000 people and hitting schools and hospitals.

“There’s millions of Yemenis who are hungry and sick and scared and desperate and starving, but they’ve all got one message and their message is that they’re at the end of their tether and they want this war to stop,” UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said in December.

He said the UN plans to get aid to 15 million people this year. An appeal went out Feb. 24 globally to raise $4.2 billion in 2019.

Canada’s new financial commitment is in response to the UN appeal and comes on the same day as the as the UN High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen conference.