Monday, 16 July, 2018

United Nations hosts donors' conference for addressing Yemen crisis

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrives for the High Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen in Geneva Switzerland. Pierre Albouy Reuters 'Several children' among dead in air strike on Yemeni port: UN
| 04 April, 2018, 01:56

The Houthi rebels have intensified attacks against Saudi Arabia in recent weeks following the third anniversary of the war in Yemen.

More than 22 million people in Yemen are in need of aid.

In opening remarks, Guterres decried catastrophic situation in Yemen, pointing out that a child aged under 5 dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes.

An air strike by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen killed 12 civilians on Monday in the coastal city of Hodeidah, medics and a witness said, and the Houthi rebels later targeted Saudi Arabia's southern border area with a missile.

"This is one of the deadliest attacks on children since the conflict in Yemen escalated in March 2015", UNICEF said in a statement. "We all know who the parties [are] to the war but the two things need to be seen separately", the United Nations chief told reporters.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have repeatedly been accused of hitting civilians targets including hospitals and markets in their three-year campaign against the Huthis.


The funding brings the total US humanitarian assistance for the war-torn country to over $854 million since 2017.

Griffiths has already held talks with both sides in the war, which has drawn in regional powers, meeting Houthi authorities who hold the capital Sanaa as well as internationally-recognised Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Saudi officials in Riyadh. He also stressed the Kingdom's efforts to find a political solution to the Yemeni crisis and provide humanitarian relief and support to its people. "But with global support, we can and must prevent this country from becoming a long-term tragedy", he said. "An enduring solution will only come through a comprehensive political agreement".

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million, and driven the country - already the poorest on the Arabian Peninsula - to the verge of starvation.

"Funding won't help if the assistance doesn't reach the people in need, and lack of humanitarian access remains a key obstacle to organizations working in Yemen", said Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate.

When the Houthis fired missiles at Riyadh last November, the Western-backed coalition responded by shutting Yemen's airports and ports. "In addition, commercial imports, which account for most of Yemen's food, fuel, and medicine, must have the same freedom of movement".

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