‘Spectra of famine has returned to Yemen’: warns UN

TEHRAN, Sep. 16 (MNA) – A high-ranking UN official warned of famine in Yemen, noting that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have failed to fulfill their commitments.

Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock made the remarks in a briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen on September 15.

Pointing to military confrontations in Yemen, he said “today, the spectre of famine has returned”, urging responsible bodies to take required actions.

“Unfortunately, those who are in a position to help, and who have a particular responsibility to do so, are mostly choosing not to,” he added.

“Conflict has continued to escalate in recent weeks, particularly in central Yemen. In August, more civilians were killed across the country than any other month this year. One in four civilian casualties in Yemen are now people who are killed and injured in their own homes.”

He went on to say that countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have so far given nothing to this year’s UN plan.”

“It is particularly reprehensible to promise money, which gives people hope that help may be on the way, and then to dash those hopes by simply failing to fulfil the promise.”

“More than 9 million people have been affected by deepening cuts to aid programmes, including food, water and healthcare. Continuing to hold back money from the humanitarian response now will be a death sentence for many families.”

Since early 2015, Riyadh and a coalition of its vassal states have been engaged in a military campaign against Yemen in a futile attempt to reinstall a Saudi-friendly government there.

The Western-backed war, which has been accompanied by a crippling blockade of Yemen, has killed tens of thousands of people and afflicted the already-poorest Arabian Peninsula nation with the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” according to the UN.

Backed by the armed forces and allied popular groups, the Houthi movement has been defending Yemen against the Saudi-led offensive.

MAH/PR/5025157

News Code 163593

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