UNITED NATIONS, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Ahead of an international fundraising conference for Yemen, the United Nations has received nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), urging other donors to follow suit and help tackle the world's worst humanitarian crisis there.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his deep gratitude for the 930 million dollars provided on Tuesday evening by the two donor countries to the Yemen Humanitarian Fund.
"I would like to take this occasion to appeal to all the other donors who will be meeting in Geneva next week... to follow the same generosity," the UN chief told reporters here, after meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.
"These funds cover almost one-third of the $2.96 billion required to implement the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, which will enable the United Nations and its partners to help alleviate the suffering of millions of vulnerable people across Yemen," a statement issued by Guterres' office said, following the signing of the memorandum on the voluntary contributions.
More than 22 million people in Yemen require humanitarian aid or protection assistance, including 2 million who are internally displaced due to the ongoing conflict between the government and rebel forces.
On April 3, donors will meet in the humanitarian pledging conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
In his meeting with the Crown Prince, who is also First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Guterres said "to give to those in need is a central pillar of Islam," noting that two-thirds of the refugees are Muslims and are received by Muslim countries.
The UN chief and the Crown Prince discussed the obligations of all parties to the conflict under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, and the critical need for humanitarian access across the country and for all of Yemen's ports to remain open to both humanitarian and commercial movement.