Humanitarian needs grow urgent, vastly greater in Yemen

GMT 05:21 2015 Wednesday ,12 August

Arab Today, arab today Humanitarian needs grow urgent, vastly greater in Yemen

Margaret Chan, Director General WHO
New York - XINHUA

As Yemen plunges deeper into conflict, the scale of humanitarian needs in the country become urgent and even greater, said a UN spokesman Tuesday.

Despite all the challenges, UN agencies and their local partners are delivering supplies of food and water to displaced people in Amran, Yemen, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary-general, at a daily news briefing, citing remarks by United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien, who is visiting Yemen.

The food insecurity is especially dire in this war-torn country.

As the conflict continues to escalate, more than 12.9 million people in Yemen are now surviving without adequate access to basic food supplies, including 6 million who are deemed severely food insecure, said Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, in a press release issued Tuesday.

The situation facing children in the country is particularly alarming, with reports suggesting that 850,000 of them face acute malnutrition -- a figure that is expected to rise to 1.2 million over the coming weeks, if the conflict persists at its present level, according to the press release.

Moreover, the ongoing conflict in Yemen has taken a heavy toll on civilians.

According to the latest data released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 1,895 of civilians have been killed by fighting since March.

During his trip to Yemen, O'Brien went to Amran in Yemen, where he visited displaced communities and met with local authorities. He visited a food distribution center and a school where over 50 displaced families from Sa'ada are living.

O'Brien is scheduled to arrive in Aden, a port city in Yemen, Wednesday, where he is expected to meet with senior representatives of the government of Yemen and civil society, said Dujarric.

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