UN warns of humanitarian crisis in Yemen due to funds shortage

08:31, April 29, 2010      

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UN World Food Program (WFP) warned on Wednesday that a shortage of funds could cause a "humanitarian crisis" to some 250,000 people displaced by a long-running war in northern Yemen.

The WFP said in a statement that it needs "more than 77 million U.S. dollars to overcome the shortage in funding its aid operation for this year," noting that the lack of funds "will force the relief agency to totally suspend providing aid to 50,000 children under the age of five years."

The agency said it has received less than 30 percent of essential funds for continuing its activities in providing food to displaced families for this year, which "will force it to reduce the food provided monthly by 50 percent as of upcoming May."

"According to the planning program, the reduction could soon cause a humanitarian crisis in the north," said the statement.

"In the event of failure to provide aid assistance and support to the WFP's program before September, the agency will have to entirely suspend its activities," it cautioned.

More than 250,000 civilians have been forced to flee their villages in the northern fractious province of Saada and some areas of neighboring Amran province during the latest battles between the government troops and Shiite Houthi rebels.

On Feb. 11, the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels reached a ceasefire agreement on ending sporadic battles in the north which started in 2004.



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