SAUDI ARABIA PLEDGES $3.5BN IN AID TO YEMEN
- Saudi Arabia has pledged $3.5bn (£2.2bn) in aid to Yemen, which is facing political instability and a possible humanitarian catastrophe, according to BBC News.
Seven aid agencies have warned the country is on the brink of a food crisis, with nearly half the population lacking sufficient food.
Saudi's foreign minister said the money was intended for development projects.
Yemen has been shaken by pro-democracy protests, communal unrest in the north, and an Islamist conflict in the south.
Attending an international conference on Yemen being held in Riyadh, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said the funds were aimed at achieving stability in Yemen.
According to UN estimates, a third of Yemeni children - or about 267,000 - are malnourished. A UN humanitarian aid appeal for Yemen is facing a $262m (£166m) shortfall in funding contributions.
In February, President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in response to months of protests that paralyzed Yemen's political system.
Islamist militants have taken advantage of the upheaval to seize parts of the southern province of Abyan, now considered a stronghold of al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP). In addition, the government is grappling with Shia Houthi rebels in the north of the country.
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