United Nations: Yemen is teeter on the brink of collapse13/12/2020
The United Nations warned, on Thursday 10/12/2020, that Yemen is teetering on the verge of complete collapse, calling for urgent funding to help more than 80% of the population.
Participants in a virtual event organized by Britain and Sweden, entitled "Preventing Famine in Yemen: What Can Be Done Now and in 2021?", Stressed that "thousands of Yemenis are starving and are at risk of death, unless urgent and sufficient funding is provided soon."
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, said in his speech that "Yemenis are being starved because of a war that is pushing the country towards famine, along with an economy collapsing and funding far less than required."
"What we are seeing now is the result of decisions made by influential people in Yemen and other countries. This is what I meant when I said that Yemen is being starved. These same people can easily choose not to starve Yemen."
Lowcock noted, "This year, humanitarian agencies received half of the funding they received last year, which forced them to reduce the number of people receiving food aid, and to close clinics and water stations."
He stressed that "if we want to avoid a major famine in Yemen, people need to take different decisions."
For her part, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, in her hypothetical speech, described Yemen as "perhaps the most dangerous place on earth for children to grow up."
"A child dies every ten minutes from a preventable disease. Two million are out of school, and thousands have been killed, maimed, or recruited for a year. Just last week, 11 children were reportedly killed, including a one-month-old baby," she said.
"Conflicts on the fronts have risen from 36 to 49 fighting in one year, the economy is in a deplorable state, and families are no longer able to adapt. As for the support systems and infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, water and sanitation, they are on the verge of collapse," she noted.
"Humanitarian teams face obstacles ranging from fighting, blockade and bureaucratic obstacles, in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, to reach the millions who need assistance," said Fore.
She emphasized that "2.1 million children suffer from acute malnutrition. We believe that famine-like conditions have already begun to appear for some children."
According to UNICEF, "Among the people who need help, 12 million children, their lives have turned into a nightmare."
The UN official called for the renewal of political action, including global support for the UN-led peace process led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, as the only way out of the crisis.