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UN releases USD 50 million to meet humanitarian needs in Yemen

IANS | New York |

The United Nations has approved $50 million to meet the humanitarian needs in Yemen, said a UN spokesman on Friday.

The money is the largest ever allocation by the Central Emergency Response Fund, Xinhua quoted Farhan Haq as saying.

UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Mark Lowcock, who approved the allocation on Friday, said there must be reduction both in fighting on the ground and airstrikes, which have greatly intensified in recent weeks.

He also stressed the need to have all ports open without interruption so that humanitarian supplies can be shipped into Yemen.

Lowcock said he remained deeply concerned by the deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the country although there has been progress in the past month in opening Yemen’s critical Red Sea ports to commercial fuel and food shipments, as well as the resumption of humanitarian shipments and flights.

Lowcock stressed that the Yemeni people need an end to the conflict so that they can begin to rebuild their lives.

For this to happen, the parties to the conflict must cease hostilities and engage meaningfully with the United Nations to achieve a lasting political settlement.

The Saudi-led military coalition, which is launching airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, sealed off Yemen after Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile launched by Houthi rebels toward the Saudi capital city of Riyadh in early November.

The blockade was later partially lifted.