Yemen on the verge of famine

UN special envoy to Yemen warns the country is on a humanitarian downward spiral that ends in famine

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Sheikh Ahmed Ismail, the UN envoy in Yemen, has warned the war torn country is on the brink of starvation, and that over 31 million people are in dire need of humanitarian relief, compared to seven million two years ago.

The envoy submitted a report to the UN Security Council in a closed session. The report proves that all parties to the conflict in Yemen are responsible for the situation which will worsen unless a genuine cease-fire is imposed.

20 million Yemenis suffer from a lack of water, and a million people were displaced from their places of residence as a result of the armed conflict.

The siege on the Yemeni ports made relief supplies inaccessible. However, the international Red Cross said that a ship carrying tons of food and three large electric generators docked in the port of Hodeida on Wednesday.

Ground clashes broke out in the cities of Ibb and Sa'ada, Aden, Taiz, Marib for hours on Wednesday, killing nearly a hundred people, including many civilians, according to Yemeni officials.

In Aden dozens of shells fell in densely populated neighbourhoods, while artillery shells landed in the city of Taiz.

Clashes and air strikes caused widespread destruction of residential neighbourhoods. The Interior Ministry, which is controlled by Iranian backed Houthis, said that 20 people were killed as a result of the Saudi-led raids on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, two soldiers from the Royal Saudi Land Forces, one officer from the kingdom's Border Guards, and an officer from the UAE's forces were killed in three separate attacks by Iranian backed Houthis, the Saudi official press agency reported.

A Saudi-led coalition began an extensive air campaign targeting Houthi-held cities across Yemen on March 26 . More than 2,600 civilians and rebels have been killed ever since.

Neither side is willing to compromise, causing the collapse of UN sponsored talks last week.

TRTWorld and agencies