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US weighs resumption of offensive arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The Biden administration is discussing the possible lifting of its ban on US sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia. But any final decision is expected to hinge on whether Riyadh makes progress towards ending the war in neighboring Yemen, according to four people familiar with the matter. Senior Saudi officials pressed their US counterparts […]

Yemen famine aid

New financing urgently needed to aid famine relief in Yemen

Yemen is searching for new wheat suppliers but will need help to pay for increasingly costly imports, an official and a main importer said, as the World Food Programme (WFP) warned of cuts to food aid for millions already living on the brink of famine. Disruption to global wheat supplies due to the Ukraine war […]

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Saudi extends deposit for Yemen and pays $2bn instalment

Saudi Arabia has extended a deposit it gave the central bank of Yemen’s internationally recognised government in 2018, and agreed to pay the final instalment of the $2 billion support package it promised. The Saudi finance ministry said the 2018 deposit would be extended to support Yemen’s currency and economic situation. The Yemeni central bank […]

First commercial flight takes off from Yemen

Yemen’s national airline operated its first commercial flight in years from the capital Sanaa today, raising hopes for renewal of a United Nations-brokered truce in the seven-year-old conflict that has pitted a Saudi-led coalition against the Iran-aligned Houthis and put Middle East security in peril. Water canons sprayed Sanaa airport’s runway as an airplane of […]

A worker displays grains of wheat at a mill in Lebanon, where the cost of a loaf of bread rose 70 percent in March

Ukraine war drives Gulf to double down on food security

As the war in Ukraine has pushed up food prices and disrupted supply chains, hard-hit MENA countries explore ways to protect themselves In Abu Dhabi clusters of fresh tomatoes are growing inside rows of climate-controlled greenhouses in the middle of the desert – just one example of the lengths the arid region must go to […]

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‘Zakat can save the world’ … and this is how

International charities hit hard by the pandemic are turning to Zakat, which requires Muslims to donate a percentage of their wealth to help the needy As countries rich and poor reeled from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the work of charities was more important than ever. Yet many of these […]

TotalEnergies says Yemen plant could take six months to restart

TotalEnergies’ plant in Yemen is “preserved”, the head of the French oil major said on Thursday, though it could take some six months to restart operations there. “According to our assumptions, it could take six months to restart the plant,” Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said in a call, noting that the energy giant was not part of […]

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Saudis ‘let down’ by US over Houthi security threats, says royal

Saudi Arabia feels “let down” by the United States in tackling security threats to the kingdom and wider region by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement, a senior member of the Saudi royal family and former intelligence chief said. Traditionally strong ties between Riyadh and Washington have been shaken under U.S. President Joe Biden by the 2018 […]

Huge surge in measles as Covid hits jab campaigns

Measles cases jumped by 79 percent in the first two months of this year compared to 2021, after COVID-19 and lockdowns disrupted child vaccination campaignsaround the world, according to data from UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO). In January and February, there were 17,338 measles cases reported worldwide, up from 9,665 in the same […]

Yemen’s Houthis release crew of seized Emirati cargo vessel

The Houthi movement that controls most of northern Yemen has released the crew of the United Arab Emirates cargo ship RWABEE that was seized on January 3, the group’s spokesman said. The release of the crew – 11 in all according to sources familiar with the matter – was agreed with the assistance of Oman, spokesman Mohammed […]

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Aid groups push to feed Yemen’s hungry millions during Ramadan ceasefire

A two-month ceasefire has given aid groups a chance to step up aid to Yemen’s hungry millions, but malnutrition ravaging children is projected to worsen if fighting returns or humanitarian funding does not pick up. “The benefits of the first weeks of truce are already significant,” said Erin Hutchinson, Yemen Director for the Norwegian Refugee […]

Yemen President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi. Picture: Creative Commoins

Saudi gives Yemen money and urges peace talks

Saudi Arabia welcomed the Yemeni president’s decision to transfer his powers to a new presidential council, urged the body to start negotiations with the Houthi group and said it would arrange $3 billion of support to the war-torn country’s economy, state news agency SPA said. Two billion dollars would come from Riyadh and another $1 billion […]