Lack of funds forces UN to close life-saving aid programmes in Yemen

Lack of funds forces UN to close life-saving aid programmes in Yemen

The United Nations said on Thursday that it was being forced to close down several humanitarian programmes in Yemen amid a a funding shortage, leaving the impoverished country in dire straits as it attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Middle East Eye reports.

"Of the UN's 41 major programmes, 31 will start closing down in the next few weeks if we cannot secure additional funds," the UN's emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock told the Security Council.

"This means we will have to start eliminating many of the activities that may offer Yemenis their best chance to avoid Covid-19."

He added that the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will have to stop immediate assistance for families displaced by conflict or natural disasters.

This means that "up to 1 million displaced people will not receive critical supplies", including hygiene kits to help protect against both the coronavirus and cholera.

Nutrition programmes for Yemeni children will also be cut, according to Lowcock, affecting 260,000 severely malnourished children and 2 million other children who are moderately malnourished in the war-torn country. 

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