Dubai: In its continued efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has distributed critical food aid across the Shabwa province of Yemen.

Last week, the UAE donated $100 million in relief aid and pledged its unwavering support for the Yemeni people.

Since April 2015, the UAE has provided more than $2 billion to support humanitarian operations, development and reconstruction in various sectors including infrastructure, health care and housing across Yemen. The aid had benefited 10 million Yemenis of whom four million were children.

The aid included 172,000 tonnes of food supplies to address severe food shortages, polio vaccines for 488,000 children, medicines, medical supplies and ambulances for Aden, Taiz and Hodeida.

The UAE also rebuilt or restored more than 270 schools and 40 hospitals and clinics across Yemen, the Riyan Airport in Hadramout province, as well as an airport and a seaport on Socotra Island to facilitate humanitarian delivery.

Work is under way to restore the strategic Mokha Port that was liberated from rebel militias to use it as an additional port for delivering humanitarian aid in Taiz.

The UAE is also coordinating closely with international organisations such as the World Food Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the World Health Organisation, and the International Committee of the Red Cross to expedite efforts to help Yemenis.

Aid provided by the UAE to support budgets, logistic capabilities and training programmes of the judicial authorities and police forces fulfilled an urgent need to provide security for international and local humanitarian organisations operating in Yemen, he added.

The UAE also took part in operations to restore security in Yemen including the recapturing of several areas such as the Yemeni port city of Mukalla from Al Qaida terrorists, he said, while stressing that the humanitarian situation in Yemen remains a top priority for the UAE because it recognises the highly serious impact of the ongoing crisis on Yemen, the wider region and beyond.

On Friday, the United Nations issued a blunt ultimatum— if donors fail to pour more money into Yemen then aid workers might have to choose which of the starving millions live or die.

“We are going to have to make life challenging decisions as to who will receive food and who will not,” said David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP).

“This is not a decision that we look forward to making, but that is the reality, the graveness of the situation,” Beasley told a conference at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Last week, the United Nations announced pledges of $1.1 billion towards its humanitarian appeal for Yemen this year. But the WFP alone needed $1.2 billion, he said, with multiple agencies involved in the rescue effort.