World News

World Bank announces $450 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen

A Houthi rebel holds up the Yemen flag as he rides a horse during a rally held to mobilize fighters for fighting against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen, December 1, 2016. REUTERS / Mohammed Sayaghi/Files

DUBAI (Reuters) - The World Bank will provide $450 million in aid to help Yemen cope with a humanitarian crisis after nearly two years of war, the bank announced on Tuesday.

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund and many foreign embassies suspended their work in Yemen in early 2015 after the Iran-allied Houthi group seized the capital, Sanaa.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in the civil war in March of that year to back the exiled government of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

The alliance imposed a near-blockade on Yemen’s ports as the conflict pounded already scant infrastructure, leaving four-fifths of Yemen’s 28 million people in need of some form of aid.

In a statement, the World Bank said the funds would go to health and nutrition projects throughout the divided country, mostly through two Yemeni development projects based in Sanaa but operating independently of the Houthis.

“It is vital that children do not miss out on critical vaccinations and nutrition, and that communities across Yemen have the income support and access to services to meet their basic needs,” said Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank’s group vice president for the Middle East and North Africa.

Writing By Noah Browning, editing by Larry King