Norway is among countries vowing to send more humanitarian aid to Yemen, which is facing a famine that’s reaching what some call Biblical proportions. Calls went out on Thursday as well for Saudi Arabia to halt its intevention in the country’s civil war and demand a cease-fire.
The Norwegian agreement recently agreed to increase its humantarian aid to NOK 212 million this year, nearly double last year’s assistance. The UN reports that as many as 18.8 billion people are threatened with starvation, especially women and children, after the war has severely disrupted food production.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende has called the humanitarian situation in Yemen “extremely dramatic, and the civilian population is subjected every day to great suffering.” Norway is channeling most of its support through several UN organizations and the Red Cross.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) topped its nightly national newscast Thursday with the story of an emaciated seven-year-old girl who died from starvation this week, like so many others. Jan Egeland, a former top UN official who now heads the refugee aid association Flyktninghjelpen, called on Saudi Arabia to stop its bombing of insurgents against Yemen’s government and force through a peace process instead.