Donor disengagement, corruption of organizations, the coup d'état of Aden and the deterioration of the currency. Where is the humanitarian crisis in Yemen going?

Donor disengagement, corruption of organizations, the coup d'état of Aden and the deterioration of the currency. Where is the humanitarian crisis in Yemen going?


The United Nations describes the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the worst in the world, where famine is ravaging more than two-thirds of the country's population, as a result of the ongoing war since the Houthis invaded the capital Sanaa, in addition to the tens of thousands of dead, wounded, disabled and hundreds of thousands of people left in the fighting. Institutions, buildings and facilities that are broken, parked or destroyed.

Recent events in the liberated areas of southern Yemen portend an escalation of the humanitarian crisis and an increasing number of hungry and displaced people, amid accusations of corruption of relief organizations and donor countries reneging on their financial commitments and commitments.

On Wednesday, the United Nations warned that nearly 22 life-saving aid programmes would be halted, accusing donor countries of failing to meet their commitments and pledges earlier to finance the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The United Nations has confirmed that only three of the 34 programs have been fully funded until the end of the year, and that 22 life-saving programs will have to stop in Yemen in the next two months if countries do not pay more than $1 billion, they have pledged this year to Yemen.

Last February, the United Nations sponsored a donor conference to secure $4.2 billion in support for Yemen's 2019 humanitarian response plan to help 21.4 million needy and hungry people in Yemen.

At the conference, donors pledged $2.6 billion (£2.14 billion), but the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Liz Grande, said in a statement on Wednesday that less than half of that amount had been paid so far.

"We urgently need the money that has been promised," said Liz Grandi, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. People die when this money doesn't come."

The United Nations has confirmed that if the promised funds are not received in the coming weeks, it will reduce its food rations to 12 million people, cut services to at least 2.5 million malnourished children, and 19 million Yemenis will not receive health care. One million women depend on the United Nations for reproductive health, noting that clean water programs will be shut down for 5 million people by the end of October and dozens of families will be homeless.

Accusations against Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Last month, the United Nations criticized Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are leading the military alliance in Yemen, for providing a "modest percentage" of their pledges of $1.5 billion, according to UN relief aid aide Mark Lowcock .

As of July, Saudi Arabia had provided $121.7 million, while the UAE had provided about $195 million, according to UN figures in the same month.

"Saudi Arabia and the UAE are refusing to pay aid to Yemen," the Daily Telegraph  said in a report by Josie Esnor, Middle East affairs correspondent, in Friday's issue.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been accused of "leaving Yemenis to die" after the UN revealed that they had paid only a fraction of the £1.2 billion they pledged to the war-torn country, the paper says.

According to the newspaper, the United Nations says "our spokesman informed us that Abu Dhabi paid only 16 million dollars, and Riyadh paid 127 million dollars. When money doesn't come, people die."

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah al-Moallemi, said in June that his country had paid more than $400 million to the United Nations and other organizations for 2019.

UAE increases number of hungry

The UAE claims to provide the most humanitarian assistance to Yemenis, but the UN's accusation that it was in an embarrassing position last July, prompting its mission to confirm that it is currently working with the United Nations on the details of the 2019 commitment to maximize the benefit of the Yemeni people.

About a month ago, the UAE released a report on what it said was the largest aid from a country in the world.

The report claimed that Abu Dhabi provided $5.5 billion in aid to Yemen, but the United Nations confirmed in its latest statement that the UAE and other countries had failed to meet their commitments.

This coincided with UN warnings that the recent fighting in liberated areas of southern Yemen was escalating the humanitarian crisis, increasing the number of hungry and displaced people, and the collapse of the remaining health and education services.

Aden, the interim capital of the government in southern Yemen, witnessed violent clashes between forces of the UAE-backed Transitional Council and government forces, and four days later, clashes led to the separatists taking control of all state institutions, including the presidential palace. The Central Bank of Yemen, in addition to the water outages in the city and the increased power outages.

The United Nations, through Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller, predicted that recent developments in Aden could cause the Yemeni currency to deteriorate and collapse.

The exchange rate is currently 600 riyals to the dollar, which is expected to collapse in the coming period, Mueller said in a speech at a session on Yemen at the Security Council on Tuesday.

The Yemeni government accused the UAE of being behind the financial and military support, planning and carrying out a coup d'état in Aden, And deviating the course of the coalition operation and the obstruction of Saudi efforts to contain the crisis and coup in Aden.

The UAE felt embarrassed in front of the world, and this was evident in its response to the government's statement at another Security Council meeting on peace in the Middle East, in which the acting head of the UAE mission at the United Nations Saud al-Shamsi denied the accusations of the Yemeni government, and reviewed in his statement a list of achievements that UAE has achieved in Yemen, under the word "remember", including providing the greatest amount of humanitarian, financial and service assistance, as well as fighting al-Qaeda and terrorists and liberating the southern regions.

UN Concern

The UAE's latest escalation is exacerbating the situation dramatically, according to an official in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Human Affairs in Yemen who spoke to Al-Masdar Online, speaking on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak.

The staff member said that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other United Nations offices were monitoring with concern the developments of recent events in Abyan and Shabwa, and that they were monitoring the impact of these clashes on the humanitarian situation in the two provinces.

He stressed that their fears are great, that there will be an explosion and escalation of confrontations in southern Yemen between Transitional Council and government forces, similar to the war in the north of the country, warning that it could seriously exacerbate the crisis beyond the capacity of the United Nations and its emergency budgets.

Corruption Accusations

The clashes are not the only cause of concern, as the cases of financial and administrative corruption that govern the relief operation in Yemen are causing concern and raise the concerns of donors, beneficiaries and stakeholders.

Accusations of corruption by UN organizations have recently escalated, and the United Nations has recently acknowledged a financial and administrative corruption incident at the WHO office in Yemen, pledging to continue to review its work and complete the necessary investigations.

This came after the agency revealed the involvement of the organization's officials in corruption on behalf of the Houthis, and provided assistance to fake projects and the employment of unqualified workers with large salaries, in addition to collusion with the Houthis and the employment of their families, in addition to leaking information of aid convoys, which facilitated the seizure of many of the Houthis Health shipments, medicines and equipment.

The same report noted that Houthi leaders used UNICEF vehicles and used them in their movements to avoid bombing coalition aircraft, an organization that teachers accuse of depriving thousands of them of the financial incentives provided to them in Houthi-controlled areas, in accordance with the group's instructions.

Saudi journalist Badr al-Qahtani commented on the UN's call for donors to meet their commitments by saying, "As a reminder, where are the results of investigations of corruption, collusion by UN officials with the Houthis and the looting of millions of dollars in aid?"

"People also die when money is looted and used to raise the dogs of an UN official," he said in another tweet.

Activists and media activists from the Hashtag “where is the money” campaign called on the United Nations to disclose the results of its previous investigations into corruption incidents in its organizations, hold those involved accountable, and cooperate with the Yemeni government, before asking donors to meet their obligations, pointing to the continuing cases of corruption looting of aid in the lack of transparency and the transformation of relief work into livelihoods for powerful and un-united nations entrees that exploit crises for personal gain.

The Yemeni government confirmed in statements from the ministries of education and planning and the High Committee for Relief, the existence of looting and corruption in organizations operating in Yemen, demanding transparency and the government's access to financial statements and coordination with them in future programs, and revealing the results of investigations, promising by taking strict measures to counter the looting of aid and the corruption of organizations.

"Al-Masdar Online" republishes list of donor pledges for humanitarian aid in Yemen according to UN data:

Saudi Arabia $750 million

UAE $750 million

Britain $261 million

Kuwait $250 million

European Union $184 million

Germany $114 million

Japan $52 million

United States $23 million

Central Emergency Fund $31 million

Sweden $27 million

Norway $17 million

Denmark $17 million

Netherlands $15 million

Switzerland $13 million

France $10 million

Belgium $9 million

Australia $7 million

Ireland $5 million

Italy $5 million

Finland $4 million

Korea $4 million

Luxembourg $2 million

Czech $800,000

Spain $500,000

Iceland $500,000

Poland $500,000

Liechtenstein $200,000

Monaco $100, 000.

Slovakia $100,000

Malaysia $100,000

Bulgaria $75,000

Cyprus $75,000

Estonia $75,000

Malta $75,000

Slovenia $34,000

Lithuania $23,000

Philippines $10,000


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