War in Yemen now a ‘chronic emergency’ as millions face hunger |
The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Griffiths, cited serious risks of inertia and fatigue in alleviating the difficult conditions in Yemen, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brings new shocks and international outrage.
Tomorrow the @UN the general secretary will join @IgnazioCassis and @AnnLinde by organizing a pledging ceremony for Yemen. We are seeking nearly US$4.3 billion to help over 17 million people. The event is an opportunity to show that we are not abandoning Yemen. 5/5
“We must not give in to these forces,” he insisted. He drew attention to Wednesday’s high-level event to alleviate the suffering of the traumatized Yemeni people, with aid agencies seeking nearly $4.3 billion to help 17 million people in 2022 alone.
New national assessments confirm that 23.4 million people are now in need of help, around three out of every four people. Among them, 19 million people will go hungry in the coming months – an increase of almost 20% compared to 2021 – while more than 160,000 of them will face starvation-like conditions.
Noting that Yemen depends on commercial imports for 90% of its food and almost all of its fuel, he said a third of its wheat comes from Russia and Ukraine, where the conflict sparked on February 24 could drive prices up. foodstuffs, which have already doubled last year. , even higher.
“Take food from the hungry to feed the hungry”
“We are looking at a seismic hunger crisis if we don’t act now,” World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director David Beasely said in a statement on the eve of the high-level event.
Without immediate funds, hungry people will lose aid when they need it most. The number of people in need of food is expected to reach 19 million in the second half of the year, without fresh funds, according to the latest integrated phase classification.
“Funding for Yemen has never reached this point“, he warned. “We have no choice but to take food from the hungry to feed the hungry.”
Funding shortfalls force cuts
The WFP was forced to cut food rations for eight million people earlier this year due to a lack of funds, Mr Beasley said. For now, five million people who are at immediate risk of sinking into starvation conditions have continued to receive a full food ration.
WFP is currently only 11% funded and needs more than $887.9 million to provide food assistance to 13 million people over the next six months.
Mr Griffiths said more than 75% of the $14 billion generated by UN appeals came from six donors – the US, Saudi Arabia, UK, UAE, Germany and the European Commission – whose funds have been exhausted. of mass starvation, “an important achievement”, he said.
“If we have a message for the world today, it is this: don’t stop now.“, he underlined. Member States must demonstrate that “not making the headlines does not mean being left behind”.
Hans Grundberg briefs the Security Council meeting on the situation in Yemen.
Artillery shelling, airstrikes continue
Detailing the violence, Yemen’s special envoy Hans Grundberg said that over the past month artillery fire in Taiz has again caused civilian casualties and damaged residential buildings, while hostilities have been reported in the governorates of Sa’dah and Al Dali.
Airstrikes continue, mainly on the front lines in Marib and Hajjah, he said. The United Nations Mission in Support of the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) is working to restore communication between the parties, re-establish de-escalation pathways and strengthen port surveillance.
“Through the ebbs and flows of the conflict, the fact remains that a military approach will not produce a lasting solution.,” he said.
Glimmer of political progress
Mr. Grundberg said he was exploring options with the parties for immediate de-escalation measures that could reduce violence, ease the fuel crisis and improve freedom of movement.
He also took stock of the series of structured consultations launched in February, encouraged by the engagement of Yemeni political parties, components, experts and civil society representatives, and described as “very constructive” his recent discussion with Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.