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"Quality initiative" needed for Yemen -- OIC chief

JEDDAH, Dec 18 (KUNA) -- The Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen on Sunday called for adoption, in cooperation with the international community organizations, of a "qualitative humanitarian initiative" to deal with the enormous humanitarian tragedy in Yemen.
In a statement to a preparatory meeting for forecast "conference to support Yemen," held today at the OIC General Secretariat headquarters in Jeddah, Al-Othaimeen said the scheduled convention would be an important step to strengthen coordination among the stakeholders in Yemen, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Dr. Al-Othaimeen expressed appreciation for many OIC member states for the generous assistance provided to the Yemeni people. He also valued the relief and humanitarian efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince and the Deputy Crown Prince, through King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.
For his part, Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief in Yemen Abdur-Raqueeb Saif delivered a statement indicating that UN reports on the humanitarian disaster show that 21.2 million people out of the total 27 million need different forms of humanitarian aid and that 19.3 million of them do not have access to safe drinking water, while 14.1 million suffer a shortage of food and 2.2 million children suffer from acute malnutrition.
The Yemeni Minister said that the legitimate government in Yemen hopes that the conference to support Yemen will adopt resolutions on financing, including immediate relief to the Yemeni people, implementing urgent reconstruction and restoration projects.
UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Partnerships with Middle East and Central Asia Rashid Khalikov delivered a statement in which he stressed that 18.8 million people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance.
Half of them, he added, are in need for emergency relief, pointing out that seven million people do not know "from where they will get their next meal." He added that only USD 150 million have been received from the total USD 1.6 billion pledged in 2016.
The meeting, which was organized in cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, solicited support for a UN/OIC high-level humanitarian pledging conference, in 2017, to mobilize the necessary resources to support the Yemeni people.
The meeting was held in implementation of the OIC decision contained in the Final Communiquأ© of the 13th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Istanbul in April 2016, which requested the OIC Secretary General to organize an international conference to mobilize the necessary resources to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the Yemeni people. (end) nh.rk