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UN humanitarian head appalled by catastrophic situation in Yemen

July 16, 2015 at 10:38 am

The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, expressed deep concern on Wednesday over what he described as the “catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen.” He called on all parties to the Yemeni crisis to comply with international humanitarian law.

“Millions of women, children and men are facing terrifying violence, extreme hunger and little medical assistance as the fighting, shelling and bombing by all parties show no sign of abating,” O’Brien said in a media statement. “It is disappointing that the humanitarian ceasefire has failed to hold over the weekend.” He renewed the UN’s call for all parties to the conflict to agree on a humanitarian pause immediately and without conditions in all parts of the country.

“I urge all the parties to abide by their obligations under international law to protect civilians and facilitate rapid, safe and predictable access for humanitarian workers to reach all people who need assistance, wherever they are in Yemen,” said O’Brien, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “A political solution to this conflict is what the Yemeni people need,” he insisted.

A second humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen under UN auspices came into force at midnight on Friday but clashes have continued in several cities.