The UN said on Wednesday that it has cut vital aid to 300 healthcare facilities across Yemen, and cuts have also been made to the UN’s food distribution services. The cuts come as the US-backed Saudi war on Yemen continues to rage. The war has shattered Yemen’s medical infrastructure, caused the largest modern-day cholera outbreak, and has left the civilian population severely food insecure.
Between April and August, the UN closed or reduced more than one-third of its humanitarian programs in Yemen. If the UN does not receive more funding in the coming weeks, additional cuts are expected. The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen said they have only received $1 billion of the $3.2 billion necessary to fund these programs.
The UN has been pressuring Saudi Arabia and the UAE to deliver on aid they promised for Yemen, but the UN has not seen the full amounts. The US also slashed aid to Yemen earlier in the year, citing Houthi obstruction, but most of the food-insecure population lives in these areas.
The UN has warned of an impending famine in Yemen if they cannot raise more funds for programs in Yemen. Although the UN has not declared the situation in Yemen a famine, they do call it the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” and civilians have been starving to death in the country for years.
In 2018, Save the Children published a report that said as many as 85,000 children under the age of five died of starvation in Yemen between April 2015 and October 2018.