UN, World Bank give cash to Yemen’s neediest to avert famine

Conflict-affected Yemenis receive local charity-provided food rations in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, April, 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

AMMAN: The UN agency for children said Monday it has distributed cash to nearly 1.5 million families in war-battered Yemen to help avert the risk of famine.
The emergency payout, part of a $200 million World Bank-funded program, comes in the fourth year of a civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 3 million and crippled the country’s infrastructure.
The UN considers Yemen to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.
Geert Cappelaere, the regional director of UNICEF, said the money — an average of $30 per family — reached an estimated 9 million people and allowed families to buy food and medicine for their children, many of them malnourished. It’s the second of three planned payments, with the next round set for August.
“A small amount of cash for the most vulnerable, for the poorest of the poor makes a world of difference,” he said. He urged the international community to put a stop to the fighting in the Arab world’s poorest nation.
Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war since March 2015, pitting a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who control the capital and much of the country’s north.