Top of the Morning: Yemen on the Brink of Food Crisis; Iran Negotiations Hit Snag

Top stories from DAWNS Digest today.

Aid Agencies: Yemen is on the Brink of a Food Crisis

CARE, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief, Mercy Corps, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children have a warning for the international community: “Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis, seven aid agencies said today, with 10 million people – 44 percent of the population – without enough food to eat.  The aid agencies warned that malnutrition rates recorded by the UN in some parts of the country were alarming, with one in three children severely malnourished. Ministers from the UK, Saudi Arabia and other countries are set to meet at the Friends of Yemen conference in Riyadh today. The agencies – CARE, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Mercy Corps, Oxfam and Save the Children – called on those attending the meeting to scale up efforts to tackle the crisis. The UN humanitarian appeal for the country is just 43 percent funded – a $262 million shortfall…Hunger has doubled since 2009. A quarter of the hungry – some 5 million people – are in need of urgent emergency aid. In Hodeidah and Hajjah, child malnutrition rates are double the emergency level. The UN estimates that 267,000 Yemeni children are facing life threatening levels of malnutrition.” (Save the Children

Iran Negotiations Hit Early Snag

Nobody said it would be easy. “Hope for swift progress on a nuclear deal with Tehran faded dramatically today, as world powers presented Iran with a list of stringent demands to curb its uranium enrichment but offered little sanctions relief in return. Iranian officials said the new offer reaches beyond the step-by-step and “reciprocal” process agreed in the first round of talks in Istanbul last month, which along with positive signals from both sides had generated high expectations for Baghdad. “The response from the Iranian side is: ‘What you are asking for is … not what we agreed to in Istanbul,’ ” an Iranian diplomat close to the talks told the Monitor, referring to the demands of six world powers that include Iran capping uranium enrichment and scrapping a deeply buried facility.” (CSM