U.N. urges peace talks and urgent aid delivery to Yemen
The council said donors have provided only about 10 percent of the U.N.’s humanitarian appeal for $1.6 billion to help those in need
The U.N. Security Council urged all parties in conflict-wracked Yemen on Thursday to attend future peace talks and facilitate the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to the impoverished nation where the risk of famine is growing.
A press statement approved by all 15 council members endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for a humanitarian pause in the fighting. The U.N. special envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, warned the council on Wednesday that the country is “one step” from famine.
U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said Thursday that the collapse of basic services and extreme shortages of food and fuel have had a “devastating impact” across the country.
“More than 21 million people – that’s 80 percent of the population - now need humanitarian assistance,” he told reporters by videoconference from Germany. “Health facilities report that over 2,800 people have been killed and 13,000 injured since the violence escalated in March. At least 1,400 civilians have lost their lives, and these numbers are likely to be significant underestimates.”
The fighting in Yemen pits Houthi militia and allied troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is now based in Saudi Arabia. The milita seized the capital, Sanaa, in September.
Ahmed, who mediated talks between the parties in Geneva last week, said that despite the deep divisions and failure to reach any agreement, “there is an emerging common ground” which he believes can lead to an eventual cease-fire.
The Security Council urged all parties to consider Ahmed’s proposals for a humanitarian pause as a first step toward a sustainable cease-fire that would be monitored by “an international, impartial mechanism.”
It urged the parties to engage in future talks without preconditions and reject violence to achieve their political goals.
The council said donors have provided only about 10 percent of the U.N.’s humanitarian appeal for $1.6 billion to help those in need.
O'Brien released $25 million from the U.N. emergency response fund Wednesday to help needy Yemenis.
Despite three months of Saudi-led airstrikes targeting the Houthis, the militia group is still capable of launching deadly attacks along the kingdom’s border. The Saudi Press Agency carried a military statement Thursday saying the Houthis launched two separate attacks there Wednesday night, killing three Saudi soldiers.
U.N. needs $1.6 bln for Yemen aidThe United Nations said that $1.6 billion was now needed to face a "looming ... Middle East
Iran’s Yemen-bound aid ship docks in Djibouti: reportThe Iran Shahed vessel, carrying 2,500 tons of food and medical supplies, was ... Middle East
Iran to allow U.N. inspection of Yemen aid ship in DjiboutiIran said the ship is carrying humanitarian aid for Yemeni civilians Middle East
Iranian ship carries aid and activists into waters off YemenAn Iranian cargo ship carrying aid and activists crossed into the Gulf of Aden to ... News
U.N. aid flight lands in Yemen mid-way through humanitarian pauseThe flight, carrying blankets, kitchen utensils and sleeping mats, arrived from ... Middle East
U.N.-chartered ship docks in Yemen with fuel for aid deliveriesA ship chartered by the WFP has docked in Yemen aimed at ‘opening up a new ... Middle East
Iran warns U.S. against hindering Yemen aid shipIran says the ship, which departed Monday, is carrying food, medicine, tents and ... Middle East
King Salman doubles Yemen aid pledge to $540 mlnThe king announced the allocation of an additional 1 billion riyals towards the ... Middle East
Situation in Yemen ‘catastrophic’, warns U.N. food agencyNearly seven weeks of Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen has caused severe shortages ... Middle East