Conflict worsens humanitarian situation in Yemen, says UN

Ongoing conflicts result in over 32,000 casualties thus far leading Yemen into dire times says United Nations

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A little boy searches for food among a rubbish pile on a street in Sana'a, Yemen on April 8, 2015

The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday warned that the humanitarian situation in Yemen has deteriorated drastically over the last seven months, as the on-going war continues to bar the country from reaching basic services.

Over 32,000 casualties have been reported in the on-going civil war in Yemen, with about 5,700 killed in mid-March, including 830 women and children.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Johannes Van der Klaauw, stated that “The collapse of basic services in Yemen continues to accelerate.”

Currently, 82 percent of Yemen’s population is in desperate need of humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs or protect their fundamental rights, including security and safety of civilians and provision of essential services.

“We estimate that over 19 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation; over 14 million people are food insecure, including 7.6 million who are severely food insecure; and nearly 320,000 children are acutely malnourished,” said Klaauw.

About 14 million people are unable to benefit from sufficient access to healthcare and three million children, pregnant or lactating women in need of malnutrition treatment or preventive services, Klaauw added. While, noting that 1.8 million children have been out of school since the civil war started.

Since mid-March, Iranian backed Houthis have been battling with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

As a result of Houthi aggression, Yemeni President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi had to temporarily move to the Saudi capital Riyadh, and formally request Arab states to help “save Yemen” from Houthi expansion. Since then, the Saudi-led coalition operations commenced.

About 2.3 million people have been left with no choice but to flee their homes and an additional 120,000 to flee the country since the war began.

Although the humanitarian situation in Yemen was not as critical, prior to the conflict, approximately 16 million people were still in need of some form of humanitarian aid, due to lethargic development and economic growth within the country.

Meanwhile, Klaauw stated that 11 million people received $700 million of the required $1.6 billion from the Humanitarian Response Plan-initiated in June- designed to cater for the vital needs of the Yemeni people.

“The plan has received over $700 million, allowing us to provide essential goods and services, including food, safe water and sanitation, health care, protection, shelter, household items and education to millions of people,” the UN official said.

Klaauw added that the funding will help supply 7.8 million people with enough medical supplies, and provide 2.6 million Yemenis access to health care.

TRTWorld and agencies