Friday, June 3, 2016

Yemen faces dire humanitarian situation: UN official

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said Thursday that Yemen is one of the more invisible crises in the region and in the world right now, given the dire humanitarian situation people face there on a daily basis, a UN spokesman told reporters.

"Figures are stark: eight out of ten people in the country need some kind of humanitarian assistance," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

McGoldrick said that everyone you meet has been affected by this conflict. He said that humanitarian workers have to be given the opportunity, the funding and the support to deliver assistance to all those in need.

The international community launched a 1.8-billion-U.S. dollar appeal to help the most vulnerable with food, health, water and sanitation, but the appeal is only 17 percent funded.

The overall healthcare system throughout Yemen has all but collapsed, with more than 600 health facilities closing their doors due to the lack of financial resources to procure medicine, supplies and fuel for generators, the UN humanitarian official said on Wednesday. "Thousands of medical staff have also gone unpaid or left the country."

It is estimated that nearly 10,000 children under the age of five -- in the past year alone -- have died from totally avoidable and preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.

The Yemeni peace talks are continuing in Kuwait on June 1, and three sessions of those talks were completed on May 31, with separate sessions convened with the Yemeni government delegation and the delegation of Ansarullah and the General People's Congress.

More than 7.6 million people in Yemen are severely food insecure and are in dire need of assistance.

The fragile security situation in Yemen has deteriorated since March 2015, when a civil war broke between the Shiite Houthi group, supported by former President Ali Abdullash Saleh, and the government backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in ground battles and air-strikes since then, and half of them are civilians.

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