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BREAKING NEWS

UAE and Saudi Arabia to give $200m in aid to Yemenis of all backgrounds

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A malnourished girl sits on her father's lap in Hodeidah, Yemen
A malnourished girl sits on her father's lap in Hodeidah, Yemen -
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The UAE and Saudi Arabia will provide a joint $200 million in urgent aid for people in Yemen, the two countries said at a press conference on Monday.

The aid is part of a $500 million joint food aid programme announced in November 2018.

Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE’s Minister for International Cooperation, said the aid would benefit “Houthi and non-Houthi alike.”

Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE's Minister of International Cooperation

She said, among other examples, that the Emirates provided salaries to 128,000 teachers who had not been paid for about two years, in response to Euronews’ Daleen Hassan, who asked how the country could guarantee aid would reach Yemenis from all backgrounds.

“We don’t have access to Houthi controlled areas,” said Al Hashimy. “We rely on international organizations and UN organizations to get the aid delivered where it is needed the most.”

UAE assistance to International Organization Partners in Yemen from April 2015 to December 2018

Euronews asked how blockchain technology could ensure that funds reach those most affected.

Al Hashimy said the UAE plan to follow the footsteps of multiple refugee camps in Jordan, using the technology that timestamps transaction data along with retinal scans, ensuring that men, women, and children receive cash directly, thus helping to prevent corruption.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is deemed the worst in the world by the United Nations, with 14.3 million people considered in acute need -- a 27 per cent increase compared to last year.

According to a 2019 UN report, about 3.2 million Yemenis require treatment for acute malnutrition, including two million children under the age of five, and more than a million pregnant and lactating women.

The crisis has put 10 million people on the brink of famine, and the country faced its third major cholera outbreak since 2015.

The UN along with human rights groups have blamed the Saudi-led coalition, supported by the West, for airstrikes that have killed civilians