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Aid Groups Warn Yemen Needs Immediate Assistance To Prevent Food Security 'Crisis'; Donors Pledge $4B For Development

“Seven aid groups on Wednesday warned Western diplomats that Yemen was on the brink of a ‘catastrophic food crisis’ and urged them to bolster efforts to salvage the situation as they meet in Riyadh for an international conference to help the nation,” Agence France-Presse reports (5/23). The meeting of the so-called “Friends of Yemen” is expected to focus on political transition and improving security, but “[i]n their warning, the aid agencies — CARE, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, and Save the Children — say this focus is preventing action to alleviate poverty and hunger,” BBC News writes (5/22). Reuters notes that the “United States, European Union, France, Egypt, and Russia were attending the Riyadh summit on Wednesday, as were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman” (Kane, 5/23). The donors have promised $4 billion to support development projects and stabilization efforts in Yemen, with Saudi Arabia pledging $3.25 billion of the total, Devex reports (Mungcal, 5/24).

“The agencies say hunger in Yemen has doubled since 2009 and was exacerbated by last year’s political upheaval, which saw the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh ousted from power after 33 years and replaced by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi,” according to the Guardian (Jones, 5/22). While “[i]nternational donors argue the chaotic security situation in the country makes it impossible to know whether their money will be used effectively, … the work of aid groups in Yemen proves assistance can be delivered in a transparent and accountable way, [the groups] said in a statement,” Reuters writes (5/23).

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