Monday, 20 November 2017

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Civilan suffering in Yemen at “incomprehensible” level

Faisal Yemen

20.8.2015 - An average of eight children are killed or maimed every day in Yemen as a direct result of the conflict that has gripped the country since April, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). So far, nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 others injured. “This conflict is a particular tragedy for Yemeni children,” said UNICEF Representative in Yemen, Julien Harneis. “They are being killed by bombs or bullets, and those that survive face the growing threat of disease and malnutrition. This cannot be allowed to continue.”

According to the top United Nations humanitarian official, Stephen O’Brien, who briefed the UN Security Council on the situation yesterday, the scale of human suffering is nearly incomprehensible.

A shocking four out of five Yemenis require humanitarian assistance and nearly 1.5 million people are internally displaced. Yet despite the tremendous needs, the aid operation in Yemen is one of the most under-funded of the different emergency operations around the world. To date, only 18 per cent, some €253 million, of the €1.43 billion requested through the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan has been received, and UN agencies have still not received the funding from Saudi Arabia of €245.6 million pledged in April.

08 19 2015Obrien YemenUnder-Secretary-Stephen O’Brien stated that the international community must match its actions with its words and take immediate measures to end the violence which is destroying the lives of millions of people across the country.

The World Food Programme has again warned that a lack of immediate and unhindered access to people who urgently need food assistance, and the shortage of funding, will create the possibility of famine for millions of Yemenis. “Right now, the conflict-driven convergence between the lack of staple food, access to clean water, and a diminished fuel supply, create the dawn of a perfect storm for the most vulnerable Yemeni people,” explained Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director.

Yesterday, on World Humanitarian Day, the Norwegian government announced a donation of over €2 million to fund the humanitarian work in Yemen. The Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende stated that the situation in Yemen can quickly escalate into a massive refugee crisis unless the international community ensures that the humanitarian needs are met.

“We must get the parties to stop the fighting and return to the negotiating table, before it’s too late”, said O’Brien as he briefed the Security Council. “Otherwise there will be nothing left to fight for.”

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