Unimpeded access, humanitarian funds urgently needed in Yemen – senior UN relief official

Much of Taiz, Yemen, has been destroyed by two years of fierce fighting. Photo: ICRC/Khalid al-Saeed

8 May 2017 – Voicing concern over lack of humanitarian access – particularly for medicine and medical supplies – in war-torn Yemen, a senior United Nations relief official has called on all parties to the conflict to ensure urgent and unrestricted access to people in need across the country.

“Giving the UN and humanitarian partners safe and unimpeded access to those in need would be a strong demonstration by the warring parties of their concern for the Yemeni people,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, in a statement yesterday.

“It is imperative that humanitarians reach people in need without obstacle, wherever they may be,” he underscored.

According to the statement, administrative delays at ports, checkpoints, and interference with aid delivery have hampered efforts to transport medicine and medical supplies to people in need in a timely manner.

The access is all the more important now given the current threat of famine and outbreaks of cholera in locations throughout the country. Some 17 million Yemenis are battling food insecurity, making it the largest “hunger crisis” in the world.

“Recent information suggests that medicine supplies are being delayed from reaching Taizz City, where the need of the people is urgent. I call on the authorities in Sana'a [,the capital of Yemen,] to allow trucks carrying medicines into Taizz City without delay,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator.

Also in the statement, Mr. McGoldrick underscored the urgent need for additional resources and called on the international community to fund the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan.

In February this year, UN together with humanitarian partners launched an international appeal for $2.1 billion to provide life-saving assistance to millions in Yemen in 2017, the largest-ever humanitarian response plan for the country.

Last month, commitments amounting to little under $1.1 billion were made at a UN-led humanitarian pledging conference in Geneva.

“All commitments made during the pledging conference need to materialize at once,” stressed Mr. McGoldrick in the statement, adding: “While Yemen awaits for peace, humanitarian action is saving lives every day across the entire country.”


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