United Nations aid chief: War in Yemen causing starvation, cholera

19 August, 2017, 03:17 | Author: Garry Little
  • Middle East Online

Another diplomat said however that "no progress" had been made on a joint declaration made in June by the UN Security Council, which called on all warring parties in Yemen to facilitate aid deliveries to the country.

In Yemen, 50% of the victims children are the result of the arab Coalition led by saudi Arabia, says the document.

The number of airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition reached 5,676 by the end of June, and was followed by intensified clashes on the ground, mainly around the city of Taiz, now under siege by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The Houthi movement denies the allegations.

Despite global support for a peaceful settlement, certain parties in the conflict continued to "place personal interests ahead of the urgent need for peace", said Cheikh Ahmed, who briefed the Security Council via video link from Amman, Jordan.

The coalition began an air campaign in March 2015 to help the Yemen government defeat the Iran-allied Houthis.

Yemen was hit more more airstrikes in the first half of this year than in the whole of 2016, increasing the number of civilian deaths and forcing more people to flee their homes, worldwide humanitarian agencies reported. The United States regards al Qaeda in Yemen as one of the deadliest branches of the militant network.

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Stephen O'Brien urged the immediate reopening of the airport in the capital Sanaa to civilians and the lifting of restrictions on commercial imports coming through the port of Hodeida, which handles some 70 per cent of goods coming into Yemen.

The conflict, which has been ongoing since 2014, is a "deplorable, avoidable, completely man-made catastrophe that is ravaging the country", O'Brien said.

More than half a million Yemenis have been infected with cholera and some seven million are on the brink of starvation, the United Nations has said.

But he said the United Nations will continue working with Yemenis "to mainstream the language of peace and reach a political solution".

The Saudi coalition was included on that blacklist in 2016, at least originally, though after Saudi Arabia demanded changes, on the grounds that the United Nations had endorsed their 2015 invasion, the United Nations quietly removed them from the blacklist.

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