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Saudi Arabia, UN to host virtual Yemen donors conference next week

Saudi Arabia, UN to host virtual Yemen donors conference next week

Saudi Arabia confirmed on Friday it will host a virtual donors conference next week for Yemen, together with the United Nations. Yemen’s government was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Houthi movement in 2014, before a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015 to try to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

A directive from King Salman confirmed Tuesday’s donor conference in Riyadh, where the UN aspires to raise $2.4 billion for the world’s biggest aid operation, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Millions need aid in Yemen, and the nation risks being overwhelmed by the coronavirus, the UN warns. “If we don’t get the funding we need and if more isn’t done to suppress the virus, Covid-19 could engulf Yemen,” said Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the country.

Yemen reported 281 infections and 55 deaths as of Thursday, amounting to a fatality rate of 20 percent, compared to a global average estimated by the UN at seven percent, Reuters reported.