Several aid agencies have warned that Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis, as representatives from 27 countries around the world attend the Friends of Yemen conference in Saudi Arabia.
Political instability in the Yemen has exacerbated the crisis which has left five million people in need of emergency aid, with one million children acutely malnourished. The Yemen Post published a press release documenting the need for aid to help displaced persons, stating almost half the population is suffering from severe food shortages.
Ahram Org. reported the Friends of Yemen was established in January 2010 to help to deal with the threat of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula which is an ongoing threat in Yemen. Seven aid agencies appealed for help in Yemen as government ministers, together with representatives from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank met in Riyadh to respond to the crisis.
Addressing the Friends of Yemen,, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal announced, "To ensure Yemen's security and stability, the kingdom will provide $3.25 billion to support development projects there which will be agreed upon with the Yemeni side."
The meeting generated total pledges of $4 billion in aid to Yemen, with Britain offering an additional $44 million to its existing commitments to Yemen.