Photo Credit: © UNICEF/ Yasin
In a recent statement, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien, stressed his concern about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen. 19 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 7 million “do not know where they will find their next meal,” including almost 500,000 children under five who are suffering malnutrition.
The crisis in Yemen has worsened, according to Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McColdrick, given that airstrikes have “destroyed or damaged critical roads and bridges across Al Hudaydah Governorate [and] unexploded rockets have landed inside the Al Hudaydah Port, reducing even further the number of ships and imports.”
“The availability of food in markets and the food pipeline are at imminent risk. We are witnessing food shortages, rising food and fuel prices, disruptions to agricultural production, and plummeting purchasing power, especially brought about by the lack of salary payments in the public sector for over six months. Given that the country is 80-90 per cent dependent on imported food staples; I am compelled to raise the alarm. If left unabated, these factors combined could accelerate the onset of famine.” – Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen
However, O’Brien stated that there’s still time to avert a famine in the country: $2.1 billion USD is required in funding to provide “unimpeded humanitarian access” to the Yemeni people.
Aside from funds, O’Brien urged for access to cities, ports, and the reopening of airports and airspace. “More suffering and the specter of famine is encroaching on the very people the parties claim to be fighting for- the time is now to prove their seriousness,” O’Brien said.
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