The United Nations is warning 400,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 could die from acute malnutrition this year, as the coronavirus pandemic and a Saudi-led war on Houthi rebels compounds the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday a donor’s conference netted just $1.7 billion for humanitarian relief in Yemen — less than half of the $3.8 billion needed to avert widespread famine.
Secretary-General António Guterres: “Today, reducing aid is a death sentence for entire families. With the war raging, Yemen’s children are paying the price.”
The U.N. says about half of Yemen’s population of 29 million people is going hungry. Last month, President Biden pledged to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which began six years ago under President Obama. But the U.S. has refused to sanction Saudi Arabia’s minister of defense — Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — over the war in Yemen, and after he approved the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday the administration was looking forward, not backward, on U.S.-Saudi relations.
Ned Price: “We are very focused on future conduct. And that is part of why we have cast this not as a rupture but a recalibration.”
President Biden is suffering major blowback for not sanctioning Mohammed bin Salman.