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New Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia donates 66 million dollars to fight epidemic in Yemen

The newly named Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, has donated $66 million to help fight a cholera epidemic in Yemen.

The donation by the ruling family’s charity went to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A statement from the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information said it would help them “respond effectively to the cholera situation in Yemen, through a combination of water, sanitation and healthcare activities.”

WHO and UNICEF have stated that the number of suspected cases has exceeded 200,000. There have so far been over 1,300 deaths with the number expected to rise.

UNICEF said in a statement that it welcomed the donation and that they “look forward to discussing this contribution” with the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid.

Yemen has been fighting a civil war since 2015. A Saudi Arabian led coalition of nine African and Middle East countries is attempting to influence the outcome of the Civil War against the rebel Houthi movement. The intervention included air strikes and a naval blockade which left 78% of the population in desperate need of food.

Saudi Arabia has faced heavy criticism from human rights groups who accuse them of indiscriminate bombings of hospitals as well as a blockade that destroyed the countries economic and humanitarian situation.

Prince Mohammed, in his role as Defence Minister, was regarded by analysts as an influence over the Saudi decision to take military action in Yemen.

The exiled Yemeni government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is attempting to retake the gains made by the Houthi group who control most of northern Yemen, including the capital.

As of December, over two and a half million people had been internally displaced by the fighting. The conflict has killed over 10,000 civilians.

The United Nations has warned that Yemen is now facing the world’s worst cholera outbreak.

UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien has described the cholera outbreak as a “man-made catastrophe.”

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