Before Al Houthi rebels and their Iranian backers threw unrelenting violence, political turbulence and widespread chaos into the volatile mix of Yemen, it was already the most vulnerable and poorest Arab nation. And for the past three years, since Al Houthis overthrew the legitimate government and administration of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, an international coalition of nations led by Saudi Arabia — and in which the UAE is proud to be playing a leading role — acting on resolutions from the United Nations Security Council, is putting Yemen back together again.
The level of material aid, training, expertise and weaponry provided to Al Houthis by Iran has allowed this rebel militia to punch above its weight, spreading discord, unrest and febrile conditions where other terrorist groups can thrive, and where humanitarian challenges mount for every Yemeni on a daily basis. While the coalition is making steady and widespread progress on the battlefield, the humanitarian conditions posed by a broken infrastructure and poor sanitary circumstances make for a far more challenging enterprise.
Throughout, both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have pledged financial support for Yemen when the conflict is done, funding that will ensure Yemen can thrive under the peace and stability denied to it by Al Houthis and their Republican Guard masters. This means that both the UAE and Saudi Arabia will stand by their Arab brothers, making sure that the water supply is clean and plentiful, its bridges and roads are in good condition, its schools and hospitals are rebuilt, and it has a legitimate government in place that represents all Yemenis, rather than the sectarian interests of Al Houthis or the narrow views of other groups seeking to sway events there.
Up to the end of 2017, the UAE has given Dh9.4 billion in aid to Yemen. Now, together, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have pledged another $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion) to ensure that the immediate and continuing medical and humanitarian needs of every Yemeni are being met.
This is funding that will ensure children are properly nourished; that the sick and those afflicted with diseases that thrive under conditions of duress will receive the urgent and sustained medical care they need; that those forced from their homes will live in organised and supplied facilities that offer them hope rather than despair; and that schools can continue their vital work. The funds also allow Yemen’s ports and airports to be opened to bring in more relief and improve the living conditions of our Arab brothers.