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World Bank announces $400m in aid to combat threat of famine in Yemen

May 16, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Cholera-infected patients receive medical treatment at Al Sabeen Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen on 1 April 2019. [Mohammed Hamoud – Anadolu Agency]

The World Bank on Tuesday announced a $400 million grant to address the risks of potential famine and malnutrition in Yemen which have been dramatically increasing as a result of more than four years of conflict in the country.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors agreed to grant Yemen $400 million to address high malnutrition rates and contribute to the maintenance of basic health services as well as water and sanitation services, the international body said in a statement on its website.

The statement explained that $200 million will be used to support the ongoing crisis response project in Yemen, to foster an enabling environment for economic opportunities in the medium term and to address the risks of potential famine and increasing malnutrition rates.

Another $200 million would support Yemen’s ongoing emergency health and nutrition project to help expand activities to meet short-term health needs, prevent chronic malnutrition and diseases, including cholera, maintain health systems and staff capacity at the local level, the statement added.

READ: Lives of 3,000 at risk due to lack of medicines in Yemen’s Ibb 

“With these amounts, the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) has provided Yemen with a total of $1.7 billion in grants since 2016,” the statement continued.

Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.

According to UN officials, more than 50,000 people have been killed in the war, while more than 11 per cent of the country’s population has been displaced.