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United Nations to Hold Pledge Conference to Support Yemen Humanitarian Efforts  

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Guards stand on the rubble of a house hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, January 18, 2022.

The United Nations is holding a virtual pledge conference among its member states Wednesday to raise at least $4.2 billion to fund its humanitarian effort in war-torn Yemen this year.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced the U.S. would give almost $585 million to Yemen in 2022.

The European Union said it would provide $407.4 million, and the United Kingdom promised $115 million.

The world body says the money will help more than 17 million people, who are in dire need of food assistance, a number that could rise to 19 million by the second half of 2022.

Yemen has been plagued by turmoil since 2014, when Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sana’a, and ousted the country’s globally recognized government. A Saudi-led Arab coalition, including the United Arab Emirates, began fighting the rebels several months later. The war has settled into a bloody stalemate that has left tens of thousands of Yemenis dead and triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Houthi rebels, who control large parts of northern Yemen, have been accused of interfering in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Wednesday’s pledge conference comes as much of the world’s attention is focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its 21st day. The crisis in Ukraine is likely to aggravate the situation in Yemen, which gets nearly one-third of its wheat imports from Ukraine.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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