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Donors pledge over 2 bln USD for Yemen crisis, political solution needed
Last Updated: 2018-04-04 07:11 | Xinhua
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SWITZERLAND-GENEVA-UN-YEMEN-DONATION

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (C, front), Vice President of the Swiss Confederation and head of the Finance Department Ueli Maurer (L, front), and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Isabella Lovin (R, front) attend the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen at Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, April 3, 2018. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres applauded Tuesday international pledges of more than 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 for the three-year-old crisis in Yemen. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres applauded Tuesday international pledges of more than 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 for the three-year-old crisis in Yemen.

But he said there must be a concerted political effort to end the country's conflict for which he believes there are positive prospects.

"Humanitarian resources are very important, but they are not enough, it is essential they reach they the people in need. For that we need unrestricted access into Yemen and unrestricted access everywhere in Yemen," Guterres told journalists at a press conference after the pledging conference on Yemen.

The UN chief noted: "Above all we need a serious political process to lead to a political solution for these pledging conferences not to be repeated in the future. "

He said, "I think that there are positive perspectives for a plan of action to be prepared and for that plan of action to lead to an effective intra-Yemeni dialogue able to achieve a political solution with the involvement of all those that are relevant in this conflict."

The UN head said he believes, "This is an opportunity to be seized and it should not be missed."

In a speech to the UN in Geneva, Guterres said that more than 22 million people in Yemen need humanitarian aid and protection.

"We must prevent the world's worst humanitarian crisis from becoming a long-term tragedy," he said in a speech at the pledging conference.

He said the aim of the conference had been to get 3 billion U.S. dollars, and that several countries had said there will be more donations from now until the end of the year.

During his speech to the pledging conference, Guterres urged the warring parties in Yemen to hold peace talks to find a solution to the conflict.

"I urge all parties to engage with my new Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay," he said.

The UN chief also called for keeping Yemen's ports open to humanitarian and commercial cargo, particularly food, medicines, and fuel, stressing that "Sana'a airport is also a lifeline that must be kept open."

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