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Leading international aid agencies warned that Yemen is at the brink of famine. CARE, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Mercy Corps, Oxfam and Save the Children - warned at the Friends of Yemen conference held in Riyadh that 44 percent of Yemen's population is at risk of famine with a third of children in some parts of the country severely malnourished.

 

The U.N. humanitarian appeal for the country is just 43 percent funded - a US $262 million shortfall, officials in Sanaa said.

 

The warning came during the Friends of Yemen meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where foreign powers pledged some US $4 billion to the country. Saudi pledged to provide US $3.25 billion.

 

The Yemeni delegation was headed by the Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa who requested support for a short term development plan to revive the economy. Support was also pledged for security forces.

 

May 24, 2012

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

The situation in the country continues to deteriorate both on the economic and political fronts. The risk of famine which has now become imminent pushes the country further towards disintegration and total collapse. The pledges of support, mainly by Saudi Arabia, are unlikely to be sufficient to halt the descent. Whilst the magnitude of the pledges may be sufficient to help the short-term development plan of the government, the mechanism of distribution will unlikely be sufficient. In addition, it is not clear where the funds will be going. For instance, whether they include payments made to government officials and tribal leaders by the Saudis, support for the security forces or  undelivered pledges. The positive effects of the pledges are therefore dwarfed by the accelerating deterioration on the ground, particularly on the economic and security fronts.