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US gives $165 mln in new Yemen aid, urges others to follow

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The United States is providing $165 million in new humanitarian assistance for Yemen, the US Special Envoy for Yemen said on Monday, adding he hoped it would encourage other donors to come forward with funds to address Yemen’s funding shortage.

A serious gap in funding for the Yemen aid response appeared last year, but more funds started flowing from March-April after UN officials said Yemen could see the world’s worst famine in decades.

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“We are supporting efforts to prevent famine which is again becoming a very real threat,” US Envoy Tim Lenderking told reporters. “The announcement today I hope will generate further announcements.”

Yemen’s deep economic crisis and restrictions on fuel and food imports have seen prices skyrocket out of the reach of many.

The aid will be provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

USAID in March 2020 partially suspended its funding to parts of Yemen under the control of the Iran-backed Houthis over concerns about interference and obstruction from Houthi authorities.

However in March this year it resumed support for those programs, said Sarah Charles, USAID assistant administrator for humanitarian assistance.

This year, the United Nations and the United States have intensified efforts to secure a breakthrough to end more than six years of war between the Houthis and Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

But a UN-led initiative for a ceasefire and the lifting of sea and air restrictions have stalled, with the Yemeni government seeking a simultaneous deal and the Houthis insisting on an end to the so-called blockade first.

The UN last week appointed Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg as its new envoy to Yemen.

Read more: Top Houthi negotiator says militia will not meet with new UN Yemen envoy