2021-10-14 23:35:16 Yemen’s humanitarian crisis growing as economy collapses: UN | United Nations News

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis growing as economy collapses: UN | United Nations News

Yemen’s economy is collapsing, its humanitarian crisis is escalating, and the conflict in the Arab world’s poorest country is becoming more violent, according to the UN’s deputy humanitarian chief.

Assistant Secretary-General Ramesh Rajasingham made the bleak remarks during a briefing to the UN Security Council on Thursday. More than 20 million Yemenis, or two-thirds of the population, require humanitarian assistance, but aid organizations, he claims, “are once again running out of money.”

Aid agencies are now assisting nearly 13 million people across the country, which is approximately 3 million more than just a few months ago, according to Rajasingham. “Our best estimate is that this expansion has significantly delayed the immediate risk of large-scale famine.”

However, he warned that aid agencies do not have enough money to continue operations at this scale, and that “in the coming weeks and months, up to 4 million people may see their food aid reduced,” with the figure rising to 5 million by the end of the year.

“We’re asking everyone to do everything they can to maintain the momentum we’ve built over the last few months and keep famine at bay,” Rajasingham said.

The violence in #Yemen is increasing by the day. Fighting in Marib and elsewhere is wreaking havoc on civilians. Meanwhile, humanitarian organizations are running out of funds and will soon be forced to cut programs for millions of people.

Yemen has been wracked by civil war since 2014, when Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized control of the capital, Sanaa, and much of the country’s northern region, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee to the south, then to Saudi Arabia.

In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition, backed by the US, entered the war in an attempt to restore President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power and back his government.

Despite a relentless air campaign and ground fighting, the war has largely devolved into a stalemate, resulting in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Since then, the United States has withdrawn from direct involvement in the conflict.

Over 20 million Yemenis, or two-thirds of the population, require humanitarian assistance.

The Houthis launched an offensive in the mostly government-held Marib province in early 2020, killing thousands of young people and leaving thousands of displaced civilians living in constant fear of violence and being forced to flee.

Tribal leaders and Yemeni officials said on Thursday that fighting over Marib had killed at least 140 fighters on both sides in the previous 24 hours. According to them, the clashes were taking place in the districts of Abdiya and al-Jubah.

According to Rajasingham’s briefing to the Security Council, the Houthis “intensified their brutal offensive in Marib, taking more territory there and in neighboring parts of the southern province of Shabwa.”

Ongoing conflict

He also cited clashes between rival armed groups earlier this month in Aden, where Hadi’s government established headquarters after the Houthis drove them out of Sanaa and the north, as well as ongoing fighting, shelling, and airstrikes in northwest Saada, western Hajjah, and Hodeida provinces.

According to Rajasingham, 235 civilians were killed or injured in September, the second-highest figure in two years, and fighting in Marib is taking “a particularly heavy civilian toll,” with nearly 10,000 people displaced in September, the second-highest figure in two years.

Hans Grundberg, the new UN special envoy for Yemen, told the council that he has met with government and Houthi officials, as well as key regional and international officials, to discuss how to move toward a political solution to restore peace in Yemen.

“The trust gap between warring parties is widening and widening,” he said in a virtual briefing. According to Grundberg, while progress should be made on urgent humanitarian and economic issues, urgent political talks without preconditions are required to negotiate a peace settlement.

“Let us not deceive ourselves; this will be a difficult and time-consuming task,” Grundberg said. “The last few weeks have demonstrated the tension between the speed of the war and the economic collapse on the one hand, and the time required to devise and consult on a viable way forward on the other.”

Yemen’s economic collapse, according to Rajasingham, “is driving most needs in the country – including the risk of famine.”

Yemen imports almost everything, he says, and the Yemeni rial is trading at around 1,270 rials to the dollar in Aden, nearly six times higher than before the war, while fewer goods are arriving at the country’s ports. Commercial food imports to the key ports of Hodeida and Saleef were 8% lower in September than the previous year’s average, and “fuel imports were an alarming 64% lower,” he said.

He urged immediate action to halt the country’s economic collapse, including foreign exchange injections through the Central Bank, which have historically lowered prices, as well as fully opening all ports, lifting import restrictions at Hodeida and Saleef, and paying civil servant salaries.

Source link

Other News

Subscribe to our World NEWS Letter

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis growing as economy collapses: UN | United Nations News