United Nations warns as conflict intensifies in Yemen, humanitarian situation worsens

National Yemen

National Yemen

The Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, told the UN Security Council that the situation in Yemen "remains extremely grave, with the conflict intensifying daily and the tragic humanitarian situation continuing to worsen".

According to the World Health Organization, Yemen is facing the "world's worst cholera outbreak".

The US and the United Kingdom have been the main purveyors of weapons, training and intelligence to Saudis during the course of the unprovoked war, which began in March 2015.

A cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen is thought to have infected 300,000 people in the past 10 weeks, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

The $2.1 billion humanitarian appeal for Yemen is only 33 percent funded, and the response to the cholera epidemic requires an additional $250 million, of which just $47 million has been received, he said. He also called on the Security Council to help reopen health centers in Yemen by ensuring that public servants would get paid.

The UN aid chief on Wednesday blamed Yemen's warring parties and their foreign backers for a "man-made" cholera outbreak affecting 320,000 people in a country already reeling from war and severe food shortages. War has crippled Yemen's health system, depleted access to safe drinking water and put millions on the brink of starvation.

Over 12,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.

O'Brien said Wednesday that in order to speed up the aid process, the airport in the capital Sana'a needed to reopen, months after Saudi attacks rendered it unusable. The airport in Sanaa, which closed a year ago, must be reopened and the port of Hodeida, a crucial lifeline for deliveries of food and medicine, must be kept safe from attack, O'Brien said.

Saudi warships have been closely monitoring the port, sending away numerous ships carrying humanitarian aid.

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