New York

30 April 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen

The Secretary-General is gravely concerned about the continued ground fighting and aerial bombardment in Yemen and its impact on innocent civilians. More than 1,200 people have been killed and 300,000 have fled their homes in the past six weeks.

There are credible reports of families in Aden trapped by the bombardment and snipers targeting civilians in the street. Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, humanitarian warehouses and UN compounds, are unacceptable and in violation of international humanitarian law.

The violence has severely blocked shipments of food, fuel and healthcare. All airports are closed to civilian traffic – some have come under direct attack -- and naval shipments are being delayed. Yemen’s health, water and sanitation systems and telecommunications services are on the brink of collapse. Humanitarian operations will end within days unless fuel supplies are restored.

The Secretary-General urges all parties engaged in military operations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. Attacks on hospitals and health facilities must end immediately.

The Secretary-General calls on all parties to ensure that humanitarian agencies and their partners have safe and reliable access to bring aid workers and supplies into Yemen and to deliver aid to millions of people in need. He repeats his call for an immediate ceasefire – and short of that humanitarian pauses in areas affected by conflict -- and urges the immediate resumption of fuel imports to avoid making the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen even worse.