Saturday, June 19, 2010

More on the end of WFP operations in Yemen

The World Food Programme may soon have to stop operations in Yemen due to a drop of donations from United Nations member countries. This comes at a time with international focus is on the lack of stability in Yemen, and the threat of al-Queda recruiting hungry people.

From, this Reuters story describes the situation.

"With the current funding situation, we will have to cease operations by the end of August," said Gian Carlo Cirri, the WFP representative in Yemen, where one in three people suffer from chronic hunger.

"The situation is extremely serious."

The WFP says it would need $75 million to continue operations for the duration of 2010 in impoverished Yemen, which is trying at once to cement a truce with northern rebels, quell separatism in the south and fight a resurgent al-Qaida arm.

Growing instability in Yemen is a major global security concern since a Yemen-based regional arm of al-Qaida claimed responsibility for a failed December attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound plane.

Western allies and neighbouring Saudi Arabia fear al-Qaida could exploit poverty and chaos in Yemen to use it as a base for destabilizing attacks in the region and beyond.

They want Yemen to resolve its domestic conflicts and consolidate power.

But Yemen, strategically located next door to top oil exporter Saudi Arabia but with fewer resources, is also trying to avert economic disaster for many, including around 350,000 displaced by the northern war, most of whom receive WFP support.

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