KUALA LUMPUR, The Yemeni government hopes to hold a donors conference here in July to solicit funds for humanitarian assistance as well as for the country's future reconstruction, its Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of the High Relief Committee, Abdulraqeb Saif Fateh, said.

The minister said that the country needed between US$70 billion-US$100 billion to expedite humanitarian assistance for two thirds of its 27 million population, as well as funds for long-term plans to start rebuilding the war-torn country once the crisis ends.

"The two-day conference will not only focus on short term assistance, as what we need now is long term help. Through this conference, we would also like to portray what is really happening in Yemen,"he told Bernama during his visit to the news agency's headquarters, here recently.

"We want the war to end and is always ready to have a dialogue with Houthi," he said, pointing out that infrastructure developments like schools and medical centres were still very much needed even in areas which are 80 per cent controlled by the government.

He highlighted that funds collected from the conference would not only be used for Yemenis in the areas under the government's control, but also to help those in areas controlled by the rebels, if access was allowed.

Fateh said that Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr is expected to attend the conference, which is supported by Jeddah-based NGO, Contribution Ambassador.

Prior to the conference, workshops on Yemen will be held in Malaysia and Indonesia, he added.

According to the United Nations (UN) humanitarian agency, 14.12 million of Yemen's population are food insecure and 3.11 million are internally displaced. Seven million Yemenis are at risk of famine, and half of Yemen's population lacks access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services.

The latest outbreak of cholera has led to more than 500 deaths and over 60,000 suspected cases in 19 governorates, reports said.

Fateh said that the upcoming donors conference was different from the UN-led donor's conference held in April, which targetted funds from governments, whereas the upcoming conference aimed at getting donations not only from countries, but also from corporate bodies and business people.

On another note, the minister thanked and congratulated the Malaysian government and its people for opening its doors to Yemenis and for supporting the UN Security Council Resolution 2216 that demanded an end to the violence in Yemen.

"Such a stand will remain in the hearts of the Yemeni people forever. This is the true picture of Islamic brotherhood. Whilst most Arab countries shut its doors to the Yemeni people, Malaysia opened its doors wide to the Yemenis," he said.

The war in Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, started in March 2015 between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.

Instability started in 2011 after an uprising by Yemenis successfully ousted president of 34 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

According to the World Health Organisation, since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, health facilities across Yemen have reported more than 7,600 deaths and 42,000 injuries, as of February this year.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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