June 12, 2020 / 9:57 AM / a month ago

Funding gaps jeopardise aid in Yemen as COVID-19 spreads -UN

GENEVA, June 12 (Reuters) - United Nations aid agencies voiced alarm on Friday at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen as COVID-19 spreads and a lack of funding jeopardises life-saving programmes.

“More than 30 of the 41 U.N.-supported programmes in Yemen will close in the coming weeks if additional funds are not secured,” U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.

Jens Laerke, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that of the $1.35 billion pledged for Yemen in early June — $1 billion short of the target — only 47% of promised funds have been received.

“Unless UNICEF receives $30 million by the end of June, water, sanitation and hygiene services will start shutting down for 4 million people in July,” Marixie Mercado of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said. Only 10% of $53 million it seeks for COVID operations has been received, reducing its ability to provide protective equipment and medical supplies, she added. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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