The United Nations condemned on Friday the increasing restrictions on the work of relief organizations and humanitarian agencies, the detention and intimidation of its staff in the northern areas under Houthi control in Yemen.
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said: “Humanitarian staff are being detained and intimidated and visas are being delayed and denied. Programmes and missions are being interfered in ways which contradict humanitarian principles.”
The UN official said that one quarter of Yemen’s children are out of schools, and not only deprived of education but also at risk of recruitment by armed groups and exploitation as the statement puts it.
He said that public employees in the health and education sectors in the northern region under the control of Houthi militias have not been paid their salaries till now.
Expressing his concerns regarding the humanitarian situation in Yemen, Lowcock said that more than 22 million Yemenis are in need for humanitarian assistance or protection, of whom around 8.4 milion are at risk of starvation.
“If conditions do not improve, a further 10 million people will fall into this category by the end of the year,” cautioned Lowcock.
He welcomed the decision of by all parties to open a medical air bridge from Sanaa to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to transport patients with conditions that cannot be treated in Yemen to facilities where they can receive the help they need
Lowcock urged all parties to engage meaningfully with the UN, without preconditions, to achieve a lasting, negotiated settlement towards sustainable peace.