(Photo Credit: AFP)
According to the most recent UN report, 19 million Yemenis are currently facing severe hunger, the highest number since the start of the invasion by the Saudi-led coalition in 2015.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) commented: “More than 19 million people are going hungry, including more than 160,000 on the verge of famine … Funding cuts are hampering our ability to help people in need.”
The office added that the World Food Programme (WFP) reduced food rations for eight million people in December last year due to funding gaps, introducing another round of cuts last month.
An estimated five million people receive less than half their daily food requirements, with eight million receiving less than one third of their daily needs.
The report also highlights that eight million women and children are in need of nutritional help, with more than 500,000 being severely malnourished children.
Media reports suggest that more funding cuts will potentially begin on 1 July.
OCHA said that, according to a report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there is a possibility of having to stop providing treatment for malnourished children by next month.
It has also been confirmed that in July the agency will suspend its work on sanitation and safe water to 3.6 million people, and will also cut down on funding their education programs.
In March this year, the UN lamented that donors had only pledged about $1.3 billion towards the $4.23 billion the agency requested to enable it to carry out its humanitarian operations in Yemen.
UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said that if the funding gap is not closed, the international body will have no option but to scale down some of its operations, a situation that will leave millions without access to food or clean drinking water.
Yemen has been embroiled in a brutal conflict since 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, with the support of the United States, invaded the country.
The Saudis and their regional allies were attempting to restore the government of former Saudi-backed president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi who was removed from power through a popular uprising.
The UN report comes days after a UAE tanker set off from Radhum port in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province on 26 June, having stolen more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil from the oil-rich region.
A Yemeni official, who spoke with Yemen’s Saba news agency on condition of anonymity, said that the estimated cost of the stolen cargo was $43.640 million, according to oil prices on the international stock exchange.
This is equivalent to 49 billion Yemeni rials.
The looting by the UAE-operated Golf Aetos vessel comes just two weeks after another supertanker left the port of Ash Shihr in the eastern province of Hadhramaut with more than two million barrels of crude oil, worth over $270 million.