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World A hundred NGOs condemn the decline in British aid to Yemen

03:35  07 march  2021
03:35  07 march  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Un camp de déplacés par les combats dans la province d'al-Jawf, au nord du Yémen, entre les forces gouvernementales et les Houthis, à Marib, le 8 mars 2020. © REUTERS / Ali Owidha A camp for displaced by the fighting in the province of al-Jawf, in northern Yemen, between government forces and the Houthis, in Marib, March 8, 2020.

In the UK, around 100 NGOs wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to criticize his decision to cut UK aid to Yemen. The country of the Arabian Peninsula is affected by the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, according to the UN, which is struggling to mobilize foreign governments.

With our correspondent in London, Maxence Peigné

“It is an error of judgment which risks destroying the reputation of the United Kingdom. The condemnation is firm, it comes from one hundred NGOs including Oxfam and Save the Children. According to them, history will judge Boris Johnson who chose to distance himself from the Yemeni people.

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At a United Nations conference this week, London pledged to invest 100 million euros for this war-torn country. This is half as much as in 2020 when 80% of Yemen's population depends on humanitarian aid. Oxfam considers this decision all the more immoral as the British sell weapons to the actors of the conflict, including Saudi Arabia.

It is not however a surprise, last November, the government had already planned a decrease in its development aid, on the pretext of the impact of the health crisis. The announcement had also aroused strong criticism, even within the ranks of the conservative party where a diplomatic fault was deplored.

And according to leaked official documents, Yemen will not be the only country affected, since Syria, South Sudan, Somalia and the DRC will also be affected by these cuts.

See also: Aid to Yemen: the UN deplores “disappointing” pledges

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Over 170 people are being treated for injuries sustained in the blaze, and the death toll could be higher than originally reported on Sunday.The cause of the fire is still unknown, and the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling for humanitarian access to determine how many migrants were affected.

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