‘Humanitarian catastrophe’ unfolding in Yemen: UN
Humanitarian chief says more than 21 million Yemenis are in need of some form of aid and calls for unconditional access.
The UN humanitarian chief has said a “humanitarian catastrophe” is unfolding in Yemen with more than 21 million Yemenis in need of some form of aid.
Stephen O’Brien said on Tuesday that the situation was exacerbated by increased restrictions on efforts to respond to what he called the “staggering needs” of millions of people, including the diversion of a UN aid ship by Saudi-led coalition forces.
O’Brien said that more than 6,000 people had been killed since the beginning of coalition strikes against Houthi rebels in March 2015, of which about half were civilians.
He said more than 700 children had been killed and some 1,000 injured.
At least 7.6 million people were now “severely food-insecure” and more than 3.4 million children were out of school, the official said.
ANALYSIS: What went wrong in Yemen?
The UN official urged the council to demand that all combatants facilitate unconditional humanitarian access to all parts of Yemen.
“UN agencies and NGO partners are delivering assistance under extraordinarily difficult and dangerous circumstances,” O’Brien said.
“Just this last Sunday, a Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a building 200 metres away from the Diplomatic Transit Facility, accommodating UN and diplomatic personnel.”
UN sanctions monitors said in a report last month that the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels have targeted civilians and that some of the attacks could be crimes against humanity.