Saudi Arabia to give Yemen $525 mln for aid, coronavirus response: Prince Khalid

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It is up to the Houthi militia to prioritize the health and safety of the Yemeni people as a two-week ceasefire comes into effect amid the coronavirus pandemic, says Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman.

“The Kingdom has always been committed to reaching a comprehensive political settlement in Yemen, and based on our responsibility to bring stability to the region at such a critical time, the Coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen has declared a two week long ceasefire initiative,” Prince Khalid said in a series of tweets.

“The Kingdom fully supports [UN Special Envoy for Yemen’s] calls for deescalation, confidence building measures, and resumption of political talks between Yemeni parties,” he added.

Prince Khalid said that Yemen is particularly vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak and that Saudi Arabia will be contributing $500 million to the UN HRP for Yemen in 2020, and an additional $25 million to help combat the pandemic.

Read more: Coronavirus: Arab Coalition declares two-week Yemen ceasefire starting Thursday

“It is up to Houthis to put the health and safety of the Yemeni people above all else,” the Vice Minister for Defense said.

“The Houthis must finally show goodwill by seriously engaging UN Envoy Mr. Martin Griffiths towards implementing steps that will ease the suffering of the Yemeni people and protect the Yemeni people from an Epidemic of which the world has never seen before,” he added.

Read more: Despite no coronavirus cases, Yemen imposes strict measures to prevent outbreak

The Arab Coalition declares a complete ceasefire in Yemen for two weeks starting Thursday noon, according to a coalition statement as part of efforts to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the coalition said in a statement.

The coalition said the decision comes after an initial announcement on March 25 to endorse the internationally recognized Yemeni government’s decision to a ceasefire following a call by UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths for warring parties to lay down their weapons.

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