Saudi Arabia announces $1.5 billion in new aid for Yemen

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The Saudi-led coalition on Saturday announced the interception of a ballistic missile fired from Yemen in a fresh attack by Houthi militias targeting Saudi border cities.

The coalition pledged funding of 40 million USA dollars for the expansion of ports to accommodate additional humanitarian shipment, adding that it would set up an air corridor between Riyadh and the central Yemeni province of Marib to run multiple aid flights of C130 cargo planes.

The expansion of ports will be supported with up to Dollars 40 million from the Saudi-led coalition.

"$1.5bn in new humanitarian aid funding for distribution across United Nations agencies and worldwide relief organisations", the coalition announced in a statement.

The USD 2.96 billion will be used to respond to an ever- broadening crisis in Yemen, where war, looming starvation and cholera have killed thousands and put millions of lives at risk.

Russian Federation halted its diplomatic presence in Yemen last month because of the deepening conflict and Moscow has previously expressed concern about strikes by the Saudi-led coalition.

Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 with the stated aim of rolling back Huthi rebel gains and restoring the country's "legitimate" government to power. Yemen imports about 90 per cent of the country's staple food and almost all of its fuel and medicine, according to the UN.

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The conflict has killed nearly 10,000 people and left more than two million displaced. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported a year ago that airstrikes remained the single largest cause of civilian casualties.

Three quarters of the population - 22.2 million people - need humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million people in acute need who urgently require assistance to survive.

DW notes that German arms exports to Saudi Arabia totalled nearly $550m in 2017.

Germany on Friday said it will not approve arms exports to countries involved in the conflict.

The US, which has provided logistical and intelligence support to the coalition and supplied it with weapons, last month called on Saudi leaders to immediately allow in all humanitarian aid.

Aid groups that say coalition airstrikes are destroying critical infrastructure and that the coalition needs to do more to facilitate the delivery of staple goods at Yemen's ports.

With most of the country lacking access to safe water and sanitation, more than 1 million suspected cases of cholera and more than 2,230 deaths were reported in Yemen previous year, according to the World Health Organization. The kingdom, however, has not disclosed how much it spends on the war in Yemen.

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