Saudi Arabia Pledging $275 Million in Aid for Yemen

Saudi Arabia, which has led the air bombing campaign against the Houthis rebels across Yemen has made a pledge to provide the amount of emergency funds for aid to the country that the United Nations called for on Friday in an appeal.

Saudi’s official news agency announced that the kingdom has promised $274 million in humanitarian aid. The country of Yemen has been hit hard of late by fighting between government troops loyal to the president and the Houthi rebels that are slowly taking control of large areas, which prompted Saudi Arabia to lead a regional coalition of airstrikes against the rebels.

The United Nations says that the fighting has displaced more than 150,000 people and as many as 12 million people in the country do not have enough food.

Saudis new leader King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud on Friday made the announcement of the aid, saying that his country would stand beside the brotherly people in Yemen.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia had launched air strikes against the rebels across 18 of the 22 provinces in Yemen. This has in turn exacerbated what was already an existing and broad humanitarian crisis.

The UN announced on Friday, that 731 people have died in the fighting with another 2,750 injured, of which many are civilians, in just the three weeks that spanned March and April. It was announced by the UN that those estimates of death and injury were likely underestimated.

An air, land and sea blockade had made it difficult to not only assess the total damage but to deliver aid where it is most needed, said news agency on the ground in the area.

Even prior to the ongoing conflict, almost 16 million people or about 61% of the Yemen population were in need of some form of humanitarian aid said the UN.

The group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, which is currently fighting both the government troops and rebels, has exploited the chaos that is gripping most of the country.

AQAP fighters have taken control of weapons depot in the eastern province of Hadramawt.

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