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Yemen: Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2342 (2017), Security Council Grants One-Year Renewal of Sanctions on Yemen, Extends Expert Panel’s Mandate

3 hours 41 min ago
Source: UN Security Council Country: Yemen

SECURITY COUNCIL
7889TH MEETING (AM)
SC/12731
23 FEBRUARY 2017

The Security Council today renewed for one year a targeted arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze against individuals and entities designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) on Yemen.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2342 (2017) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council renewed until 26 February 2018 the measures imposed by paragraphs 11 and 15 of resolution 2140 (2014). 

[By those provisions, the Council decided that all Member States would freeze all funds, other financial assets and economic resources and economic resources on their territories that were owned or controlled by the individuals and entities designated by the Committee.  It also decided that Member States would take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into, or transit through, their territory by those individuals.]

By today’s resolution, the Council also reaffirmed the provisions of paragraphs 14 to 17 of resolution 2216 (2015) — through which it had decided to prohibit the supply, sale or transfer of arms to individuals and entities designated by the Committee as engaging in or providing support for acts that threatened the peace, security or stability of Yemen — as well as to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi commanders Abdullah Yahya al Hakim and Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi.

In addition, the Council extended until 28 March the mandate of the five-member Panel of Experts on Yemen.  It requested that the Panel provide a midterm update to the Committee no later than 28 July 2017, and a final report to the Security Council no later than 28 January 2018, and directed it to cooperate with other relevant expert groups including the Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring teams.

Urging all parties and Member States as well as international, regional and subregional organizations to cooperate with the Panel of Experts and ensure their safety and unhindered access, the Council also called on States that had not yet done so to report to the Committee as soon as possible on steps taken to implement the assets freeze, travel ban and targeted arms embargo.

The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 10:05 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2342 (2017) reads as follows:

“_The Security Council_,

“_Recalling_ its resolutions 2014 (2011)2051 (2012)2140 (2014)2201 (2015)2204 (2015)2216 (2015)2266 (2016) and the statements of its President dated 15 February 2013 (S/PRST/2013/3), 29 August 2014 (S/PRST/2014/18), 22 March 2015 (S/PRST/2015/8) and 25 April 2016 (S/PRST/2016/5) concerning Yemen,

“_Reaffirming_ its strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen,

“_Expressing_ concern at the ongoing political, security, economic and humanitarian challenges in Yemen, including the ongoing violence, and threats arising from the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of weapons,

“_Reiterating_ its call for all parties in Yemen to adhere to resolving their differences through dialogue and consultation, reject acts of violence to achieve political goals, and refrain from provocation,

“_Reaffirming_ the need for all parties to comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law as applicable,

“_Expressing_ its support for and commitment to the work of the Special Envoy for Yemen to the Secretary-General, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in support of the Yemeni transition process,

“_Expressing its grave concern_ that areas of Yemen are under the control of Al‑Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and about the negative impact of their presence, violent extremist ideology and actions on stability in Yemen and the region, including the devastating humanitarian impact on the civilian populations, _expressing_concern at the increasing presence and future potential growth of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) affiliates in Yemen and _reaffirming its resolve_ to address all aspects of the threat posed by AQAP, ISIL (Da’esh), and all other associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities,

“_Recalling_ the listing of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and associated individuals on the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List and stressing in this regard the need for robust implementation of the measures in paragraph 2 of resolution 2253 (2015) as a significant tool in combating terrorist activity in Yemen,

“_Noting_ the critical importance of effective implementation of the sanctions regime imposed pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) and resolution 2216 (2015), including the key role that Member States from the region can play in this regard, and encouraging _efforts_ to further enhance cooperation,

“_Recalling_ the provisions of paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) imposing a targeted arms embargo,

“_Gravely distressed_ by the continued deterioration of the devastating humanitarian situation in Yemen, _expressing serious concern_ at all instances of hindrances to the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance, including limitations on the delivery of vital goods to the civilian population of Yemen,

“_Emphasising_ the necessity of discussion by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 19 of resolution 2140 (2014) (“the Committee”), of the recommendations contained in the Panel of Experts reports,

“_Determining_ that the situation in Yemen continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

“_Acting_ under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   _Reaffirms_ the need for the full and timely implementation of the political transition following the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference, in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, and in accordance with resolutions 2014 (2011)2051 (2012)2140 (2014)2201 (2015)2204 (2015) 2216 (2015), and 2266 (2016) and with regard to the expectations of the Yemeni people;

“2.   _Decides_ to renew until 26 February 2018 the measures imposed by paragraphs 11 and 15 of resolution 2140 (2014), _reaffirms_ the provisions of paragraphs 12, 13, 14 and 16 of resolution 2140 (2015), and _further reaffirms_ the provisions of paragraphs 14 to 17 of resolution 2216 (2015);

“_Designation Criteria_

“3.   _Reaffirms_ that the provisions of paragraphs 11 and 15 of resolution 2140 (2014) and paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) shall apply to individuals or entities designated by the Committee, or listed in the annex to resolution 2216 (2015) as engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen;

“4.   _Reaffirms_ the designation criteria set out in paragraph 17 of resolution 2140 (2014) and paragraph 19 of resolution 2216 (2015);

“_Reporting_ “5.   _Decides_ to extend until 28 March 2018 the mandate of the Panel of Experts as set out in paragraph 21 of resolution 2140 (2014), and paragraph 21 of resolution 2216 (2015), _expresses its intention_ to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding the further extension no later than 28 February 2018, and _requests_ the Secretary-General to take the necessary administrative measures as expeditiously as possible to re-establish the Panel of Experts, in consultation with the Committee until 28 March 2018 drawing, as appropriate, on the expertise of the members of the Panel established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014);

“6.   _Requests_ the Panel of Experts to provide a midterm update to the Committee no later than 28 July 2017, and a final report no later than 28 January 2018 to the Security Council, after discussion with the Committee;

“7.   _Directs_ the Panel to cooperate with other relevant expert groups established by the Security Council to support the work of its Sanctions Committees, in particular the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team established by resolution 1526 (2004) and extended by resolution 2253 (2015);

“8.   _Urges_ all parties and all Member States, as well as international, regional and subregional organizations to ensure cooperation with the Panel of Experts and _further urges_ all Member States involved to ensure the safety of the members of the Panel of Experts and unhindered access, in particular to persons, documents and sites, in order for the Panel of Experts to execute its mandate;

“9.   _Emphasizes_ the importance of holding consultations with concerned Member States, as may be necessary, in order to ensure full implementation of the measures set forth in this resolution;

“10.  _Calls_ _upon_ all Member States which have not already done so to report to the Committee as soon as possible on the steps they have taken with a view to implementing effectively the measures imposed by paragraphs 11 and 15 of resolution 2140 (2014) and paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) and _recalls_ in this regard that Member States undertaking cargo inspections pursuant to paragraph 15 of resolution 2216 (2015)are required to submit written reports to the Committee as set out in paragraph 17 of resolution 2216 (2015);

“11.  _Recalls_ the Informal Working Group on General issues of Sanctions report (S/2006/997) on best practices and methods, including paragraphs 21, 22 and 23 that discuss possible steps for clarifying methodological standards for monitoring mechanisms;

“12.  _Reaffirms_ its intention to keep the situation in Yemen under continuous review and its readiness to review the appropriateness of the measures contained in this resolution, including the strengthening, modification, suspension or lifting of the measures, as may be needed at any time in light of developments;

“13.  _Decides_ to remain actively seized of the matter.”

YEMEN

For information media. Not an official record.

Yemen: Yemen: Snapshot on Shipping, Food and Fuel Imports, January 2017

3 hours 56 min ago
Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster Country: Yemen

Yemen: Yemen conflict: A devastating toll for children

4 hours 58 min ago
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Yemen

The conflict in Yemen has taken a devastating toll, particularly on the most vulnerable members of society: children.

Even before the outbreak of conflict in March 2015, Yemen faced challenges from widespread poverty, food insecurity and lack of health services. But now, with more than 2.2 million people displaced, food and fuel imports cut short and livelihoods destroyed, more than 70 percent of Yemenis are in need of some kind of humanitarian assistance.

Close to 4,000 civilians have died as a direct result of the conflict, including 1,332 children. Thousands more are wasting away because of deprivations caused by the conflict. UNICEF estimates that more than 460,000 children in Yemen face severe malnutrition, while 3.3 million children and pregnant or lactating women suffer from acute malnutrition. Even after the conflict ends, the effects of malnutrition – stunted growth and delayed cognitive development – may linger. In the worst cases, it is fatal.

The number of out-of-school children – already high before the conflict – has ballooned to 2 million as more than 350,000 additional children have been unable to attend school because of closures. Education for these children cannot wait.

The country’s water and sanitation infrastructure has also been ravaged, posing serious health risks. Restrictions on the importation of fuel have disrupted the delivery of water to millions of people in one of the most water-scarce countries on Earth. Fuel shortages have also curtailed access to health care, as hospitals are unable to power the generators they need to function.

On 6 October 2016, health authorities in Yemen confirmed a cholera outbreak, posing an increased health risk to the population – especially children – given the crumbling health system in the country.

UNICEF is working hard to alleviate the effects of the conflict on children and families by delivering lifesaving services and supplies, including health, nutrition and vaccination services for mothers, newborns and children; preparing for potential disease outbreaks; expanding treatment services for children with malnutrition; and supporting displaced families through provision of safe water and hygiene facilities.

UNICEF and its partners urgently need to secure funding. Yemen’s needs are great; to provide the most basic health, education and protection services in 2017, UNICEF requires $236.6 million.

Learn more about the humanitarian situation for children in Yemen

South Sudan: Alerta de hambruna: El hambre amenaza a cuatro países

9 hours 39 min ago
Source: Acción contra el Hambre España Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen
  • Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan del Sur y Yemen presentan una situación de inseguridad alimentaria alarmante.

  • Acción contra el Hambre, presente en todos ellos desde hace varios años, lanza un llamamiento a los donantes para poder seguir atendiendo las necesidades más urgentes de estas poblaciones.

Madrid, 23 de febrero de 2017

El hambre afecta ya a 4 millones de personas en Sudán del Sur y amenaza varios millones en Nigeria, Somalia y Yemen. Cifras que anuncian una situación mundial extremadamente preocupante. Acción contra el Hambre trabaja no sólo para responder a estas emergencias, sino para prevenir consecuencias extremas como estas.

Nigeria: el conflicto entre las fuerzas de seguridad y el grupo terrorista Boko Haram en el país se ha intensificado en los últimos ocho años y en la actualidad afecta a más de 17 millones de personas. El aumento de la violencia y los actos terroristas en Nigeria y los países vecinos, principalmente contra la población civil, y la crisis económica han dado lugar a grandes movimientos de desplazados y una situación humanitaria catastrófica. 4,4 millones de personas viven amenazadas por el hambre.

Sudán del Sur: se ha declarado el estado de hambruna en el país. En la actualidad, 4,9 millones de personas - el 42% de la población – necesitan ayuda alimentaria de urgencia. La guerra civil, que estalló en 2013 y ha provocado el desplazamiento de millones de personas, es la principal causa de esta dramática situación.

Somalia: el país se enfrenta a una grave sequía en un contexto de conflicto armado persistente y de difícil acceso a los servicios básicos, provocando un alarmante deterioro de la situación alimentaria y nutricional de la población. Actualmente hay 363.000 niños y niñas que sufren de desnutrición y cerca de 6,2 millones de personas -el 50% de la población- que necesitan asistencia humanitaria. Unas circunstancian que recuerdan a la hambruna que en 2011 acabó con la vida de cerca de 250 000 personas.

Yemen: después de dos años el conflicto ha empeorado la situación humanitaria en este país, que ya era el país más pobre de la península Arábiga. La situación continúa deteriorándose y 14,1 millones de yemeníes viven en situación de inseguridad alimentaria en la actualidad.

"Estas graves crisis alimentarias son causadas por el hombre y no producto de una fatalidad. Es por eso que desde Acción contra el Hambre llamamos a la movilización para proporcionar una respuesta urgente y adecuada para cubrir las necesidades más básicas de la personas afectadas", recuerda Olivier Longué, director general de Acción contra el Hambre. La organización pide también el fin de los conflictos y el respeto del derecho internacional humanitario para que las personas tengan acceso a los servicios básicos.

A pesar de los riesgos por falta de seguridad, equipos de Acción contra el Hambre se han movilizado para desplegar una respuesta humanitaria de emergencia. El diagnóstico y tratamiento de la desnutrición entre los niños menores de 5 años sigue siendo la mayor prioridad y se articula desde un enfoque multisectorial: atención primaria de salud para los niños y las mujeres embarazadas y lactantes, intervenciones de agua, saneamiento e higiene para garantizar el acceso a agua segura, las transferencias monetarias para satisfacer las necesidades alimentarias de estas poblaciones y el apoyo psicosocial.

Acción contra el Hambre es una organización humanitaria internacional que lucha contra las causas y los efectos del hambre. Salvamos la vida de niños y niñas desnutridos. Garantizamos acceso a agua segura, alimentos, formación y cuidados básicos de salud. Trabajamos también para liberar niños, mujeres y hombres de la amenaza del hambre.

Más información y entrevistas con portavoces:

Departamento de Comunicación Acción contra el Hambre España

91 771 16 72 | 91 391 53 06 I 609 018 735

@Acontraelhambre www.accioncontraelhambre.org

World: The Oslo Process: The Historic start to the cluster bomb ban

9 hours 58 min ago
Source: International Campaign to Ban Landmines Country: Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

23rd February marks the 10th anniversary of the Oslo Process. Ten years ago today the Oslo Process began when 46 states took an extraordinary step by making a historic declaration to outlaw cluster munitions at a conference hosted by the Norwegian government in Oslo in February 2007.

With persistent and concerted efforts by governments in close partnerships with the Cluster Munition Coalition, International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations agencies, the Oslo Conference was followed by ten regional meetings hosted by different countries, including by some of the most affected such as Lao PDR and Lebanon, to mobilize international support for a total ban on cluster munitions. In less than two years, the ambitious goal of the Oslo Declaration was achieved, when 94 states signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions during the first week of December 2008 in Oslo.

We asked Ambassador Steffen Kongstad of Norway, who played a crucial role during the Oslo Process, what the launch of the process meant to him. Ambassador Kongstad, currently Norway’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OSCE, said: "The launch of the Oslo Process and the successful conclusion of the Convention on Cluster Munitions that followed demonstrated what can be achieved when affected countries, other interested countries and competent civil society organisations work together based on facts and humanitarian concerns and principles. The CCM has saved countless lives and limbs and prevented unacceptable human suffering. That was exactly the purpose and objective of this process.

Cluster munitions were known to be indiscriminate and for having caused disproportionate civilian casualties for decades before the start of the Oslo Process. The use of cluster munitions by the United States in Afghanistan in 2001-2002 and in Iraq in 2003 and the massive use of cluster munitions in Southern Lebanon by Israel and Hezbullah (a non-state armed group) in 2006, provided indisputable evidence of the indiscriminate nature of cluster munitions and caused global outrage. Cluster Munition Coalition campaigners, together with a core group of states and other actors worked tirelessly to bring the devastation caused by cluster munitions to the attention of the international community and to urge the immediate ban of the weapons.

What the international community, and most importantly affected countries, have achieved through the Convention on Cluster Munitions is remarkable. To date, 119 nations have joined the convention. According to the Cluster Munition Monitor, 29 States Parties have destroyed nearly 1.4 million stockpiled cluster munitions containing 172.9 million submunitions. 17 States Parties and one non-signatory have ceased the production of cluster munitions. Last year, the United States suspended its transfers of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia and one of the world´s largest arms producers, Textron, announced plans to stop producing cluster munitions. The Saudi-led coalition ended its use of UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen.

We congratulate governments and other actors for their efforts to eradicate cluster bombs. We also demand that the international community remains fully committed until all countries join the convention, until no one else gets killed or maimed by cluster bombs, until the Saudi-led coalition, Syria, Russia and any other actor that uses cluster munitions stops doing so, until all victims receive sufficient assistance, until all states destroy their stockpiles of the weapon, and until the world is free from the plague of cluster munitions.

Yemen: DEC announces £20 million for the emergency in Yemen - a country on the brink of famine.

12 hours 20 min ago
Source: Disasters Emergency Committee Country: Yemen

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has now raised £20 million for the Yemen Crisis Appeal, since it was launched on 13 December 2016. This month the UN has announced that Yemen is on the brink of famine. Almost 19 million people - 80% of the population - are desperately in need of help, with 14 million people already hungry. Yemen is just one of four countries where famine is looming at present; the UN has already declared famine in parts of South Sudan, with Somalia and northern Nigeria at crisis point.

Saleh Saeed, CEO of the DEC, has just returned from a journey across war-torn Yemen. Saleh travelled to see for himself the situation on the ground and the work DEC member charities are already doing with funds raised from the Yemen Crisis Appeal to help more than 1.5 million people with lifesaving aid, including food, cash aid, health care, water and sanitation.

Saleh said: “I visited Hodeida, one of the areas worst affected by extreme hunger. The number of patients attending the hospital there has increased fivefold over the last year. It broke my heart to see so many children suffering from severe malnutrition. They were so weak they could hardly stand.

“But there is hope – the funds that the British public have given to the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal are already making a huge difference. In the Al Zuhra clinic in Hodeida, I watched children like one-year-old Omar have their mid-upper arm measured, a simple way to quickly and easily diagnose malnutrition. Omar was then prescribed 10 packets of ‘Plumpy Nut’ – a tasty peanut paste and life-saving treatment which only costs 25p per sachet and can easily be given to children by their parents.

“I travelled across both the north and south of the country and saw how humanitarian aid was getting to the hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need through water and sanitation projects, cash vouchers and food parcels. I met some of these people in person – many of whom wanted me to express their appreciation for the help given by the British public.

“However, the numbers in need were overwhelming. Having been born in Yemen, and visited many times over the years, I was truly shocked to see how the country had been devastated by conflict. The lives of so many families are at risk because of the food crisis and we need more funds to prevent Yemen slipping into widespread famine.”

The Yemen Crisis Appeal has now raised a total of £20 million from the British public, corporate supporters and the UK Government through its Aid Match contribution.

The DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal is still open. Please visit www.dec.org.uk and donate.

Yemen: ERC sends more aid to population in Hadramaut

13 hours 9 min ago
Source: Emirates News Agency Country: Yemen

HADRAMAUT: The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has sent urgent relief convoy to some areas in the Governorate of Hadramaut due to dire conditions endured by the population there. The aid convoy is a continuation of the ERC's humanitarian aid programme and part of a number of campaigns carried out in all Hadramaut and other remote areas. Beneficiaries expressed their happiness at the arrival of the convoy and stressed that it came at the right time to alleviate their suffering as result of the deterioration of the economic situation and disruption of the sources of income.

Yemen: Yemeni health system crumbles as millions risk malnutrition and diseases

14 hours 7 min ago
Source: World Health Organization Country: Yemen

23 February 2017, Al-Hudaydah, Yemen - “Hospital staff have not received their salaries for the past 5 months. There are acute shortages of certain medicines and we need more fuel to ensure the hospital has electricity,” says Dr Khaled Suhail, Director of Al-Tharwa Hospital in Yemen’s third largest city, Al-Hudaydah.

With more than 1200 employees and 320 beds, Al-Thawra Hospital is the main functioning health facility in Al-Hudaydah and neighbouring governorates.

Every day, around 1500 people seek care at the hospital, a 5-fold increase since 2012 due to the influx of people displaced by ongoing conflict and the closure of other health facilities in the area.

Last week alone, several thousand displaced men, women and children arrived in Al-Hudaydah Governorate, overwhelming already weakened health facilities and overburdening vulnerable host communities.

The Al-Hudaydah port, one of the main entry points to the country, is functioning at minimal capacity, significantly increasing the prices of goods, including medicines, and reducing economic activity in the city. As a result, many patients are unable to pay the minimal fees for hospital services.

Despite this, no one is turned away from Al-Thawra Hospital and hospital staff provide care to everyone, regardless of whether they can afford to pay. Recently, however, the hospital had to stop providing food for inpatients due to lack of funds.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) assists us by providing fuel and medicines for emergency interventions, and supporting the hospital’s therapeutic feeding centre.” explains Dr Suhail. “However, with no funds for operational costs, we never know if we will still be open one month from now.”

Collapsing health system in Yemen

Since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, health facilities across Yemen have reported more than 7600 deaths and close to 42 000 people injured. The country’s health system has been another victim of the conflict.

The budget allocated to health authorities has been drastically reduced, leaving health facilities without funds for operational costs and health care workers without regular salaries since September 2016.

“With more than 14.8 million people lacking access to basic health care, the current lack of funds means the situation will get much worse,” says Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Acting Representative in Yemen.

Only 45% of health facilities in Yemen are fully functional and accessible, 38% are partially functional and 17% are non-functional. At least 274 of those facilities have been damaged or destroyed during the current conflict. Highly specialized medical staff, such as intensive care unit doctors, psychiatrists and foreign nurses have left the country.

Nutrition crisis

Almost 4.5 million people in Yemen, including 2 million children, require services to treat or prevent malnutrition, representing a 150% increase since late 2014. Of special concern are almost 462 000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition and at risk of life-threatening complications such as respiratory infections or organ failure.

“Last year more than 100 children died from severe malnutrition in our therapeutic feeding centre” says Dr Suhail. “The majority of children who come here are from Al-Hudaydah city itself. Those from outside the city can’t afford the cost of transport, so many children simply die at home.”

WHO has established 15 therapeutic feeding centres in 7 governorates, and plans to open an additional 25 centres as the numbers of malnourished children increases across the country.

Urgent funding needs

“We are asked to fill gaps created by the collapsing health institutions,” says Dr Zagaria, “but last year, WHO received less than half of the US$ 124 million required.”

This year United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations working to support health care in Yemen are appealing for US$ 322 million, of which WHO is requesting US$ 126 million.

“We urgently need resources to help support the health system as a whole, and are calling on donors to scale-up their support before more innocent lives are lost unnecessarily,” says Dr Zagaria.

Media contact:

Tarik Jasarevic Media Relations
World Health Organization
Mobile: +41 793 676 214
E-mail: jasarevict@who.int

Yemen: Aid workers released in Yemen

14 hours 31 min ago
Source: Norwegian Refugee Council Country: Yemen

Three national staff, three casual workers and a contracted driver from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) have been released after they were detained for a week in Al Hudaydah, Yemen.

“We are greatly relieved by the release of our staff members and the driver. They are in good condition, and we are pleased that they are now reunited with their families,” said Mutasim Hamdan, Country Director for NRC in Yemen.

NRC in Yemen will focus on providing support to the affected staff members and their families, while NRC’s programs continue in Al-Hudaydah, and in the rest of Yemen.

Following a relief aid distribution on the14th of February in the city of Al-Hudaydah, Yemen, local authorities detained three NRC national staff, three casual staff and a contracted driver. The staff were detained following a misunderstanding regarding old markings on some recycled boxes that contained hygiene supplies. Those recycled boxes were originally from Saudi Arabia and were dated January 2015. The boxes were originally used for a food basket project, and were repurposed by a contracted vendor to be reused for new hygiene kit packaging. As Yemen has long been in conflict, recycling like this is common.

NRC does not take any Saudi funding in Yemen. The organization upholds the values of humanity, independence, neutrality and impartiality for all its programs.

Out of respect for the privacy of the seven individuals, NRC is neither disclosing their identities nor commenting further on this issue.

NRC is alarmed by the critical humanitarian situation and worsening food crisis in Yemen, an estimated 17.1 million people suffer from food insecurity, including 7 million at least who are severely food insecure while 462,000 children face immediate risk of death from malnutrition. Almost 19 million people, or nearly 70 percent of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Together to end use of children in conflict

14 hours 44 min ago
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen

by YVES WILLEMOT

PRESS RELEASE – _On 10th anniversary of Paris Commitments leaders renew the call to end use of children in conflict. At least 65,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups in the past 10 years, UNICEF said today as leaders from around the world gather in Paris on the anniversary of the Paris Commitments to end the use of children in conflict._

65,000 children released from armed forces and groups across the world

“_Ten years ago the world made a commitment to the children of war and matched it with action – action that has helped give 65,000 children a new chance for a better life,_” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “_But today’s meeting is not only about looking back at what has been accomplished — but looking forward to the work that remains to be done to support the children of war._”

Exact data on the number of children used and recruited in armed conflict are difficult to confirm because of the unlawful nature of child recruitment. However, UNICEF estimates that tens of thousands of boys and girls under the age of 18 are used in conflicts worldwide:

  • Since 2013, an estimated 17,000 children have been recruited in South Sudan and up to 10,000 have been recruited in the Central African Republic.
  • In Nigeria and neighbouring countries, data verified by the United Nations and its partners indicate that nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram in 2016 alone.
  • In Yemen, the UN has documented nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment since the conflict escalated in March 2015.

The number of countries that have endorsed the Paris Commitments nearly doubled in 10 years, from 58 countries in 2007 to 105 at present, signaling an increasing global commitment to end the use of children in conflict.

Estimates show that of the 65,000 children who have been released in the past 10 years, more than 20,000 were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, nearly 9,000 in the Central African Republic, and over 1,600 children in Chad.

The Paris International Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflicts will look at ways to build on this momentum. These include calling for the unconditional release of all children, without exception, and putting an end to child recruitment; increased resources to help reintegrate and educate children who have been released; and urgent action to protect internally displaced children, child refugees and migrants.

“_As long as children are still affected by the fighting, we cannot give up the fight for the children_,” Lake said.

Use of children by militias in DRC

Facing the use of children by militias in the Kasai, Central Kasai, East Kasai, and Tanganyika provinces, UNICEF issued a statement expressing its deep concern about this growing trend and its dramatic consequences on the physical and psychological integrity of children and their schooling. UNICEF calls on all these militias to immediately cease this practice. UNICEF also calls on the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) to a strict and proportionate use of force. The children recruited by these militias are often in the front line and thus directly exposed and are the primary victims of clashes between the militias and the Armed Forces. Under the Child Protection Act of 2009, it is the State’s prime responsibility to ensure the protection, education, and provision of necessary care for children during armed conflicts, civil strife, and civil unrest.

On 28 July 2016, the DRC signed the Oslo Safe Schools Declaration. By endorsing the Declaration, the DRC committed to promoting and protecting the right to education in armed conflict. This commitment is all the more timely given that several schools have been occupied or destroyed, teachers threatened, and many children deprived of education in the areas affected by these disturbances.

More generally, and beyond the condemnation of the use of children in conflict, since 2004, UNICEF has been supporting the Government of the DRC in the implementation of the “child” component in the National Program for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). UNICEF and its partners have also developed, since the end of 2013, a strategy for the reintegration of children who left armed forces and groups focusing on access to education, vocational training, and economic support. Nearly 7,000 children have benefited from this support for reintegration. During the transitional period, children within transitional structures benefit from a package of psychosocial, educational, and rehabilitation support activities.

More info:

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ensemble pour mettre fin à l’utilisation des enfants dans les conflits

14 hours 46 min ago
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen

par YVES WILLEMOT

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE – _À l’occasion du 10ème anniversaire des Engagements de Paris, les dirigeants renouvellent leur appel à mettre fin à l’utilisation d’enfants dans les conflits. Au moins 65 000 enfants ont été libérés de forces ou de groupes armés au cours de la dernière décennie, annonce aujourd’hui l’UNICEF, alors que les dirigeants mondiaux se réunissent dans la capitale française pour marquer le 10ème anniversaire des Engagements de Paris visant à mettre un terme à l’utilisation des enfants dans les conflits.  _

65 000 enfants libérés de forces ou de groupes armés à travers le monde

«_ Il y a dix ans, le monde promettait d’aider les enfants de la guerre. Nous avons joint le geste à la parole, en donnant à 65 000 d’entre eux la chance de mener une vie meilleure _», déclare Anthony Lake, Directeur général de l’UNICEF. « _La réunion d’aujourd’hui n’a pas pour seul objectif de contempler le chemin parcouru en faveur de ces enfants, mais de se tourner vers l’avenir pour mesurer les défis qui restent à surmonter_. »

Puisqu’il est illégal d’utiliser ou de recruter des enfants dans les conflits armés, les données fiables sur leur nombre sont plutôt rares. L’UNICEF estime toutefois que plusieurs dizaines de milliers de garçons et filles de moins de 18 ans sont forcés de participer aux conflits un peu partout sur la planète :

  • Depuis 2013, selon les estimations, 17 000 enfants ont été recrutés au Soudan du Sud et près de 10 000 en République centrafricaine.
  • Au Nigéria et dans les pays limitrophes, des chiffres contrôlés par les Nations Unies et ses partenaires indiquent que près de 2 000 enfants ont été recrutés par Boko Haram sur la seule année 2016.
  • Au Yémen, les Nations Unies ont documenté le cas de près de 1 500 enfants recrutés depuis l’intensification du conflit en mars 2015.

Le nombre de pays ayant adhéré aux Engagements de Paris a presque doublé en dix ans, passant de 58 en 2007 à 105 aujourd’hui, ce qui témoigne d’une mobilisation globale de plus en plus importante pour mettre fin à l’utilisation d’enfants dans les conflits.

Les estimations indiquent que sur les 65 000 enfants libérés au cours de la dernière décennie, plus de 20 000 se trouvaient en République démocratique du Congo, près de 9 000 en République centrafricaine et plus de 1 600 au Tchad.

La Conférence ministérielle internationale de Paris sur la protection des enfants dans les conflits armés se penchera sur les moyens de donner un nouvel élan à cette tendance, notamment en exigeant la libération inconditionnelle de tous les enfants, sans exception, et l’arrêt de tout nouveau recrutement, en demandant l’affectation de davantage de ressources à la réintégration et à l’éducation des enfants libérés ainsi qu’une action sans délai pour protéger les enfants déplacés à l’intérieur des pays et les enfants réfugiés et migrants.

« _Tant que des enfants seront affectés par les combats, nous ne cesserons de les défendre_ », conclut A. Lake.

Utilisation d’enfants par des milices en RDC

Face à l’utilisation d’enfants par des milices dans les Provinces des Kasaï, Kasaï central, Kasaï oriental et au Tanganyika, l‘UNICEF, le Fonds des Nations pour l’Enfance a publié une déclaration exprimant sa très forte préoccupation concernant l’augmentation du phénomène et ses conséquences dramatiques pour l’intégrité physique et psychologique des enfants et leur scolarité. L’UNICEF appelle l’ensemble de ces milices pour qu’elles cessent immédiatement cette pratique. L’UNICEF appelle également les Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) à un usage strictement nécessaire et proportionné de la force, les enfants enrôlés par ces milices étant souvent en première ligne et donc directement exposés et majoritairement victimes des affrontements opposant les milices aux Forces Armées. En vertu de la Loi de 2009 portant protection de l’enfant, il incombe en premier lieu à l’état de garantir la protection, l’éducation et la fourniture de soins nécessaires aux enfants dans les conflits armés, les tensions et troubles civils.

Le 28 juillet 2016, la RDC signait la Déclaration d’Oslo sur la Sécurité dans les écoles. En endossant cette Déclaration, la RDC s’engageait à promouvoir et protéger le droit à l’éducation dans les situations de conflit armé. Cet engagement est d’autant plus d’actualité que plusieurs écoles ont été occupées ou détruites, les enseignants menacés et de nombreux enfants privés d’éducation dans les zones affectées par ces troubles.

De manière plus générale et au-delà de la condamnation de l’utilisation des enfants dans le conflit, l’UNICEF appuie depuis 2004 le gouvernement de la RDC dans la mise en œuvre de la composante « enfant » dans le cadre du Programme nationale de désarmement, démobilisation et réinsertion (DDR). L’UNICEF et ses partenaires ont également élaboré, depuis fin 2013,  une stratégie de réintégration des enfants sortis des forces et groupes armés axés sur l’accès à l’éducation, à l’apprentissage professionnelle et à l’appui économique. Près de 7000 enfants ont ainsi bénéficié de ces appuis à la réintégration. Durant la période transitoire, un paquet de différentes activités de soutien psychosocial, éducatif et de préparation à la réinsertion sont apportés aux enfants dans des structures d’encadrement transitoires.

Plus d’informations:

World: Au moins 65.000 enfants libérés par des forces armées et des groupes armés ces dix dernières années, selon l'UNICEF

16 hours 42 min ago
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, World, Yemen

22 février 2017 – Au moins 65.000 enfants ont été libérés par des forces armées et des groupes armés au cours des dix dernières années, s'est félicité le Fonds des Nations Unies pour l'enfance (UNICEF), alors que les 'Engagements de Paris' pour mettre fin à l'utilisation des enfants dans les conflits célèbrent leur 10e anniversaire.

Une conférence ministérielle internationale sur la protection des enfants dans les conflits armés a été organisée mardi à Paris pour examiner les moyens de poursuivre sur cette dynamique, avec pour objectif notamment d'appeler à la libération sans condition de tous les enfants sans exception, et de mettre fin au recrutement des enfants; de demander des ressources accrues pour aider à réintégrer et éduquer les enfants qui ont été libérés; et de prendre des mesures urgentes pour protéger les enfants déplacés, les enfants réfugiés et les migrants.

« Il y a dix ans, le monde a pris un engagement envers les enfants de la guerre et a pris des mesures qui ont permis à 65.000 enfants de vivre une vie meilleure », a déclaré le Directeur exécutif de l'UNICEF, Anthony Lake, dans un communiqué de presse. « Mais la réunion d'aujourd'hui ne consiste pas seulement à regarder ce qui a été accompli, mais à voir ce qui reste à faire pour soutenir les enfants de la guerre ».

Les données exactes sur le nombre d'enfants utilisés et recrutés dans les conflits armés sont difficiles à confirmer en raison de la nature illégale du recrutement d'enfants. Cependant, l'UNICEF estime que des dizaines de milliers de garçons et de filles de moins de 18 ans sont utilisés dans des conflits mondiaux.

Ainsi, depuis 2013, on estime que 17.000 enfants ont été recrutés au Soudan du Sud et 10.000 en République centrafricaine.

Au Nigéria et dans les pays voisins, les données vérifiées par l'ONU et ses partenaires indiquent que près de 2.000 enfants ont été recrutés par Boko Haram rien qu'en 2016.

Au Yémen, les Nations Unies ont documenté près de 1.500 cas de recrutement d'enfants depuis le regain du conflit en mars 2015.

Le nombre de pays qui ont approuvé les 'Engagements de Paris' a presque doublé en 10 ans, passant de 58 pays en 2007 à 105 actuellement, ce qui témoigne d'un engagement croissant à l'échelle mondiale pour mettre fin à l'utilisation des enfants dans les conflits.

Les estimations montrent que sur les 65.000 enfants qui ont été libérés au cours des 10 dernières années, plus de 20.000 l'ont été en République démocratique du Congo, près de 9.000 en République centrafricaine et plus de 1.600 enfants au Tchad.

South Sudan: Full transcript of Secretary-General's Joint Press Conference on Humanitarian Crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

22 February 2017 - 11:10pm
Source: UN Secretary-General Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

[with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UNDP Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark; Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Stephen O’Brien; Ms. Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (by video conference); Ms. Carla Mucavi, Director of FAO Liaison Office in New York, and Mr. Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF]

Spokesman: Good afternoon. We are joined by the Secretary-General, by the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Administrator, Helen Clark; the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien – who are here at the front table; and you see behind me Ertharin Cousin [by video conference], the Executive Director of the World Food Programme. And we also have here in the front row, Carla Mucavi [Director] of the FAO Liaison Office [in New York], and Justin Forsyth, the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. We will let the Secretary-General open up, and then we will take your questions.

Sir, you have the floor.

Secretary-General: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you very much for coming.

I am here with my colleagues to draw the world’s attention to the fact that today, more than 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and north-east Nigeria are going hungry, and facing devastating levels of food insecurity.

Famine is already a reality in parts of South Sudan. Unless we act now, it is only a matter of time until it affects other areas and other countries. We are facing a tragedy; we must avoid it becoming a catastrophe. This is preventable if the international community takes decisive action.

The situation is dire. Millions of people are barely surviving in the space between malnutrition and death, vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks, forced to kill their animals for food and eat the grain they saved for next year’s seeds.

Throughout South Sudan, almost 5 million people desperately need food; famine has already been declared in two counties. Across North-East Nigeria, some 5.1 million people face serious food shortages. Women and girls are disproportionately affected, and nearly half a million children are suffering severe acute malnutrition. Even if they survive, this may affect their health and development throughout their lives.

In Somalia, food prices are rising, animals are dying, and almost one million children under the age of 5 will be acutely malnourished this year. Yemen is facing the largest food insecurity emergency in the world, with an estimated 7.3 million people needing help now.

United Nations agencies are deployed with plans in place for all these countries, and we are scaling up the response. In North-East Nigeria, humanitarians are reaching more than two million people with food assistance. In South Sudan, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners aim to assist 5.8 million people this year; in Somalia, 5.5 million people and in Yemen 8.3 [million].

We are also stepping up cooperation between humanitarian and development agencies, including the World Bank, strengthening collaboration, coordination and alignment and working [towards] common goals. Saving lives is the first priority, but we are also looking to build longer-term resilience to shocks.

I have asked the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and the Emergency Relief Coordinator to take immediate action to ensure a coordinated long-term approach. They will set up a steering committee to link the United Nations Development Group and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee for humanitarian assistance.

One of the biggest obstacles we face now is funding. Humanitarian operations in these four countries require more than $5.6 billion this year. We need at least $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe. Despite some generous pledges, just $90 million has actually been received so far – around two cents for every dollar needed. We are in the beginning of the year but these numbers are very worrying.

Funding shortages have already forced the World Food Programme to cut rations in Yemen by more than half since last year. Without new resources, critical shortages will worsen within months.

These four crises are very different, but they have one thing in common. They are all preventable.

They all stem from conflict, which we must do much more to prevent and resolve.

But even now, we can prevent the worst effects, if we act urgently and strongly.

I urge all members of the international community to step up and to do whatever is in their power, whether that is mobilizing support, exerting political pressure on parties to conflict, or funding humanitarian operations.

I want to make a personal appeal to the parties to conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and allow aid workers access to reach people in desperate need. Without access, hundreds of thousands of people could die, even if we have the resources to help them.

The lives of millions of people depend on our collective ability to act. In our world of plenty, there is no excuse for inaction or indifference. We have heard the alerts. Now there is no time to lose.

Thank you. I would like to ask my two colleagues to complete my introduction. We will be distributing also a small fact sheet with the key data relevant to this crisis.

Mr O'Brien: Secretary-General, thank you very much, indeed. And I use this opportunity very briefly to re-emphasise how much working together with development partners we want to both help people to survive, but also to have the opportunity to build a more durable solution so that they can have the opportunity to not be left in vulnerability.

More than 20 million people in South Sudan, in Somalia, in Yemen, and in Northeastern Nigeria are facing famine or at risk of famine or starvation over the next six months. And that includes 1.4 million children, who are currently at imminent risk of death from severe acute malnutrition.

And the point that is so important to emphasise, which the Secretary-General has outlined, is these famines can be averted if we act now. The lesson from the 2011 Somalia famine was, by the time we declared famine broadly as a world, half those who died had already died. So, this is why we're sounding the alarm now so that we can actually make the difference to avert the catastrophe.

And it builds on the enormous advocacy for all four countries, which is why we already have in place many of the aid workers and agencies and implementing partners, both at international and national level, and working with and through governments where they have that capacity to respond to make sure that we are averting what we can see is a famine through these many causes, different as they are, but with the common theme of conflict, which has to be in the context of trying to prevent, as well.

We basically need at least $4.4 billion of funds to come in by the end of March in order for us to make that scale-up and that difference. And I can give the assurance that we are ready to scale up, providing those funds are forthcoming and providing the access in order to reach all the people in need wherever they are is made available to the very brave and committed aid workers, both in place and who we can surge on the back of increased funding.

And it's to focus on food, nutrition, water, and sanitation and hygiene and health. Those will be the interventions, and, to the extent that we need to reprogramme from already the very detailed plans for meeting humanitarian needs in these countries, they are being reprogrammed to make sure that we meet these immediate needs but, at the same time, sew in the opportunity to build a more durable resilience to the shocks of the future.

I think I'll leave Helen Clark very much at that point as that segues, I think, into how we want to look at this in a comprehensive way.

Ms Clark: Thank you very much. And, definitely, there's a total commitment on the part of the development actors to work extremely closely with OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and the humanitarian actors on the new way of working in crisis which was agreed at the World Humanitarian Summit between us.

Clearly, the primary objective here is to save lives in the face of extremely dire circumstances, and part of saving lives is also about building the resilience for the future. A lot is underway. What we are doing is being retargeted, reprioritized. Everything can be scaled up.

Now, you may say, what does resilience actually involve in circumstances like this? I want to give you just a very brief flavour of what is involved. Take South Sudan. A number of the agencies are working together -- that's UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), World Food Programme, FAO -- on a comprehensive approach around stabilisation and recovery, access to basic social services, reinvigorating livelihoods locally, and enhancing the capacity of the local governments to deliver the services they need to deliver.

Another aspect of it, in Somalia, where UNDP and OCHA are jointly supporting the research and disaster preparedness agency to do its job in Somaliland and also in Puntland, supporting humanitarian affairs and disaster management agencies and supporting formation of local disaster committees. The local actors are incredibly important in this.

In Yemen, a number of the agencies, including UNICEF, including UNDP, are enormously supported now by major World Bank programming, coming in to support water distribution systems, solar water pumps and greenhouses, to support agricultural production. There's a lot that can be done.

So the joint focus on saving lives, the food, the nutrition support bridging into saving the lives of animals, supporting the agricultural production, where possible, this joined-up approach can be done. It will work, but it does need the support that the Secretary-General is appealing for. Thank you.

Spokesman: Ertharin, do you want to add a few words?

Ms Cousin: Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate with you here today. I have very few words, to avoid repeating anything my colleagues have said.

In each of these four countries as… as the parties… as my colleagues noted, the plans are in place. The people are prepared to perform the work that is necessary. What we need are the financial resources that have been identified by my colleagues as well as the access.

This is a very different situation than even in Somalia than we were in in 2011. In Somalia today, as compared to 2011, you have a functioning government. The markets are functioning. What we need are the resources to ensure that we can give access to the food that is available to those who have suffered from two years of drought and also, as the meteorologists are telling us, that there… that the next rains will also fail.

And so acting now before we reach the height of the lean season, in each one of these countries, will ensure our ability to provide the support that is necessary.

So I am prepared to answer any questions about the plans that we have in place. And [audio gap] with the 1.2 billion that's required from WFP to meet the needs of those through this lean season will be deployed to scale up, to address the challenges, to avoid what we all see on the horizon, which is a famine in each one of these countries if we fail to act. Thank you very much.

Questions and Answers

Spokesman: Thank you. Sherwin, go ahead.

Question: Thanks, Steph. It's quite an esteemed panel led by the Secretary-General himself. On behalf of the UN Correspondents Association, thank you very much. And I think it speaks to the seriousness of the issue. I guess the short question would be: How on earth did we get here again? I think it's unconscionable that we are again seeing starving black children on television screens around the world. This was something that happened in the '90s, at the beginning of the century. It's unconscionable that in 2017 we are again seeing these images. So the question, I think, is: What role does race and region have to play in this conversation we're having today?

Secretary-General: Well, first of all, these things are repeating themselves, and I believe there are two very important factors that explain why they are repeating themselves. One is conflict, and conflict is, of course, having devastating humanitarian consequences. The second is a number of situations of drought are being accelerated by climate change. We always had drought. We always had desertification. But climate change works as a key enhancer of other factors -- desertification, food insecurity, water scarcity. And so, not only we have the repetition of crisis, but we risk to have more and more and with more devastating consequences. In this area, it is obvious that the cooperation with regional and national and local entities is absolutely crucial. And I think that we can clearly underline that… namely the African context, with the cooperation of the UN, with the African Union is today an example of cooperation. We are more and more also relying on the different sub-regional organisations.

Spokesman: Thank you. Rosiland, Al Jazeera.

Question: Thank you, Mr Secretary-General. Rosiland Jordan with Al Jazeera English. A multipart question, and it goes to the funding. In light of concerns that the new US Government may cut its spending on foreign aid, including on humanitarian relief, and in light of the fact that recent appeals to help the people of Syria, for example, haven't been met 100 per cent, how confident are you that the world will step up, fully fund this latest appeal? Can the UN count on the same level of support from the US as it has in previous years? And, finally, how worried are you in general about this concept of donor fatigue? Have people simply said, we need to take care of our own people and countries where these crises are happening, where the risk of famine is so great, they need to find a way to take care of their own people? How do you answer that?

Secretary-General: First of all, I don't think there is donor fatigue. There is a lot of talk about donor fatigue, but if you look at the numbers, humanitarian aid has been growing every year. And my experience at UNHCR for ten years was that, indeed, our resources have been growing every year. The problem is that they are not growing as quickly as the needs are growing. This is the drama. It's not a donor fatigue. It's an increasing impact of different factors to make humanitarian needs exploding in our worlds. Now, we had a combination of factors. We had El Niño. We have now different other weather patterns with similar effects. We have a multiplication of conflicts that became particularly dramatic from the point of view of access. So we are facing now in this regard a situation in which either we act now or we will have a devastating situation of famine widespread in several parts of Africa and in Yemen. Now, if we act now, it will be cheaper. And so, raising awareness now, when we have the capacity in place and where the resources can be used in the most effective way, is the best way also to avoid a much bigger humanitarian assistance and unfortunately coming too late. And I don't want to need the images of children dying in big numbers alerting the public conscience of states to allow for them to finally come with their support. This is the moment in which this support cannot solve naturally many of the problems that exist and they are already very dramatic but prevent the worst. So, what we are appealing for is not only something that human conscience should guide governments to deliver, independently of the country that we are talking about, but it is also the smart way. It limits the suffering, and it allows for a better use of resources and not to have… coming too late to then spend much more but with much less effective impact on the ground.

Spokesman: Thank you. Nizar?

Question: Thank you, Mr Guterres. Nizar Abboud, Al-Mayadeen Television in Lebanon. The conflict in Yemen started with the humanitarian crisis, of course. There is an inspection and verification mechanism in the Red Sea and it doesn't look like it is working for some time. You've been to Saudi Arabia recently and visited United Arab Emirates. Did you raise this issue with them? And what's hampering aid from reaching the dying children in Yemen? They are dying at a rate of ten, every ten minutes a person.

Secretary-General: Humanitarian access is vital. I mentioned that very clearly in my statement. We are appealing simultaneously for funds, and for all those that are parties to the conflict to grant humanitarian access. Unfortunately, we have seen in Yemen and in many parts of the world where conflicts take place limitations to humanitarian access for different kinds of pretexts. My appeal is that the situation is so dire, the consequences are so dramatic, this is the moment in which international humanitarian law must be respected by all and access must be granted to all areas where people are suffering these kind of problems.

Spokesman: Herman, BBC Afrique.

Question: Right, thank you. Herman Houngbo from LC2 and BBC Afrique. And I'm going to ask my question in French. I would appreciate if you could answer me in French. Les conflits sont l’une des causes des crises humanitaires que vous évoquez aujourd’hui. L’une des priorités de l’Organisation des Nations Unies, c’est de protéger les civils, tout comme ce fut le cas en Libye. A quand une résolution ou un engagement international aujourd’hui, pour tacler Boko Haram par exemple qui affecte des millions de personnes dans la zone du Lac Tchad et dans la zone ouest-africaine par exemple? Et que répondez-vous à ces organisations non-gouvernementales qui, pour le cas dun Soudan du Sud, estiment que les autorités sud-soudanaises are not qualified for the job?

Secretary-General: C’est vrai que nous avons de sérieux problèmes de protection des civils. Non seulement à cause des actions des forces armées et des milices, mais aussi à cause des limitations des missions, notamment des Nations Unies. Vous avez mentionné le [Soudan du Sud], le mandat de la mission des Nations Unies limite strictement la capacité de mouvement de la mission, notamment pour la protection des civils. C’est une des questions que d’ailleurs je viens de discuter à Addis [Abeba] pendant le sommet de l’Union africaine et avec les autorités sud-soudanaises, et avec l’IGAD [Autorité intergouvernementale pour le développement] et l’Union africaine. Je crois qu’il nous faut, ce n’est pas l’objet de cette conférence de presse, mais c’est évident que la protection des civils et le respect du droit international humanitaire sont des conditions essentielles pour que l’aide humanitaire soit efficace.

Spokesman: Pam, yes.

Question: Thank you. Thank you to the panel. It's Pamela Falk from CBS News. Secretary-General, you've mentioned that all of this is preventable. Tony Lake said yesterday it was man-made. And I'm going back to Sherwin's question a bit. How did it get this far so that, in one month's time, I mean, there's over a million children that are about to die? Was it neglect? Was it the combination that you mentioned? I mean, Ms Clark also mentioned it. What… what made it happen… what… what happened, neglect? I mean, how did it get this bad so urgently? And then, just as a piece of that, do you think in a few weeks’ time, you will get $4 billion and where are you looking? Thank you.

Secretary-General: First, this has been a combination of factors. We are not starting to act. In all these areas, our people together with the NGOs, the Red Cross-Red Crescent movement are acting. Now, what we are now seeing is an overwhelming growth of the problem. And before it explodes, we are alerting the world to make sure that we can scale up the action to meet the requirements of this worsening of the situation we are now witnessing. I do believe that we are in the beginning of the year. Many countries still have a lot of budget resources available. I do believe that, if there is a clear conscience of the problem we are facing and the clear conscience of the problems we might face if we do not act, I do believe that governments will step up and that other donors will step up, and we will be able to fund the operations that are already taking place but will be scaled up as soon as resources allow it.

Question: And just a clarification. Is the 1 billion that Ms Cousins talked about part of the four…

Secretary-General: Yes, yes.

Question: Does that offset the four…

Secretary-General: Yes, yes.

Spokesman: Kyodo News.

Question: Thank you, Secretary-General. I'm Takagi from Kyodo, Japan's news agency. I have a question on South Sudan. United Nations Security Council failed to adopt a resolution to import arms embargo on South Sudan last December, and Japanese Ambassador said it's counterproductive for peace and security in South Sudan. On the other hand, United States and UK and France and other countries said it’s only way to prevent possible genocide. So Security Council seems to be divided still now. So what is your stance on arms embargo? Thank you.

Secretary-General: Well, first of all, that is a decision of the Security Council, and we don't control the Security Council and its decisions. But immediately after I went to the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development)… to the African Union summit, and we reached in a summit between IGAD, the regional organisation, African Union and the UN a total agreement on a strategy aiming at, on one side, create conditions for the prevention of the kind of genocide you are talking about. And until now, we have been relatively successful on that, with full support of all the countries of the region putting pressure on the authorities in South Sudan in that regard. Second, we have now a common strategy in relation to the need for an inclusive national dialogue, and Mr [Alpha Oumar] Konaré, President Konaré, the envoy of the African Union, together with our own envoy, and the envoy of IGAD are shuttling between the parties and between the countries of the region to make sure that this condition is met. And, at the same time, we are revitalizing the conditions to allow for the mission to be more effective and for the regional protection force to be implemented. So we do not stop just complaining about the fact that one or another decision doesn't correspond to our aims. We act in order to create the conditions to prevent underground the kind of catastrophic development that you have mentioned.

Spokesman: Raghida.

Question: Yeah. It’s Raghida Dergham, Al Hayat. Mr Secretary-General, during your recent trip to the region to the Middle East, to the Gulf area, I'm sure you raised the issue of the need that they should contribute generously to not only Yemen but also Somalia and Sudan. Did you get any pledges? Did you get any commitments that made you feel that, yes, they are serious about giving on these issues? And, secondly, what strategy might you be thinking about to engage the private sector? I know that there has been the strategy of engaging the celebrities to come in every now and then and help out when you're putting out such a plea. Have you been thinking about a new strategy to engage the private sector in these countries and outside these countries? Because many of them get away with it. They just claim that they want to contribute, and they really don't do as much as they should. Thank you.

Secretary-General: Well, this visit was not to seek financial commitments. It was a political visit. But I must say that I am pretty confident that the countries of the region that you mentioned will step up also and respond to this appeal. And in relation to the private sector in general and to the private sector in particular in the Gulf, there is a number of initiatives that several of our agencies have already launched, and there are forms of cooperation that have been quite positive. I can tell you, for instance, in my past capacity, we were in contact with a group of companies based… the group was based in Dubai, that allowed for a very important mobilisation of private sector support from the area. And I believe that all agencies are doing the same, and I'd like to ask Stephen O'Brien to give eventually some details that I'm not yet entirely aware of.

Mr O'Brien: Well, I think it's very clear that already being present in these countries and having already had the agencies working with international, local national NGOs, millions of lives have already been saved. It's the compound effect which the Secretary-General has highlighted which has brought us to this point in trying to avert the worst as so many things have come together at once and in the context of conflict. But, even within that, particularly -- and Ertharin Cousin may want to add -- WFP has been working extensively and very effectively with the contributions of the private sector both in terms of a sense of partnership but also, not just in terms of finance, also in kind and skills and ensuring that we have the ability to extend into the latest technological opportunities to give us the most efficient way to reach people in need wherever they are and in line with our humanitarian principles. So, with your indulgence, sir, Secretary-General, as I say, Ertharin Cousin may want to give a specific example which might help you.

Spokesman: Ertharin?

Ms Cousin: Thank you very much, Stephen, and Mr Secretary. Let me just tell you that WFP has ongoing relationships with private sector companies both in the region, in the Middle East, as well as globally. Those companies are now being mobilised by our private sector division and along with part… the other UN agencies, including in… UNICEF in particular where we're working together to drive out messaging… messages to the private sector in support of nutrition and food security in each these countries. I can tell you that it's not just about cash, as Stephen said. We also have a partnership… an ongoing partnership with both Facebook and Google who are providing us with information about those individuals who are in need of our assistance in areas where we don't have regular access. So we are using the private sector to increase our capacity to serve as well as to provide us with additional financial resources.

Spokesman: Thank you. Abdelhamid.

Question: Thank you. My name is Abdelhamid Siyam from the Arabic Daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi. That's based in London. And my question, Mr Secretary-General, about the report had been put by a number of UN agencies, it's called Gaza 2020. This report says that life will not be sustainable in Gaza in the year 2020 if nothing could be done to alleviate the suffering and the disastrous consequences of conflicts in Gaza in particular. First, why there is no more… no shedding light on this disaster? And are you prepared to do something about the disaster situation in Gaza? And have you raised the issue of Gaza in your meeting with the leaders of the region? Thank you very much.

Secretary-General: The answer is obviously in reference to your last question. Yes, of course. This is about situations that correspond to an immediate emergency. We are not talking here of all the protracted humanitarian situations in the world, and Gaza is one of the protracted humanitarian situations in the world. And, of course, this report corresponds exactly to our position and to our appeal. This is an immediate answer to situations that can explode, from the humanitarian point of view, tomorrow. But the protracted crises remain, and they also need to be effectively supported with the adequate response, and Gaza is obviously one of our priorities in that regard.

Spokesman: Thank you. Majeed.

Question: Thank you, Mr Secretary-General, and the panel. This is Majeed Gly from Rudaw Media Network. Mr Secretary-General, from day one, you focussed on… one of your priorities has been prevention of conflict, and I wanted to ask you about that with regard to Iraq. The US and other international partners with the UN are rightly so focussed on the humanitarian and the military aspect of the war against ISIS in Iraq. But there seems to be all the international actors forgot about the political future of Iraq after ISIS, which is… many call it a ticking time bomb, what's going on there. Why the UN didn't… don't take the initiative to start talking of a… starting a framework talk about the future of Iraq after ISIS just like we are seeing the same process in Syria? Totally different situation, but it's a political process the UN can take charge of. And my other related question is, last week, you met with of President of Kurdistan region of Iraq, Masoud Barzani. What did you talk about with him? And did he raise the issue of the prospect of the independence of Kurdistan, as he raised it with Vice President [Michael] Pence? Thank you very much.

Secretary-General: Well, I don't see a direct link between your question and what we are dealing today. And, obviously, we can discuss all problems in the world, but I will answer your question. But the objective is not to divert the attention from this, because obviously, we have a very clear message. There is a dramatic emergency situation, and it needs a response. There are many other problems in the world. We are dealing with them. I met recently with the Prime Minister [Haider al] Abadi and President Barzani, and we have been saying consistently there is no way to defeat terrorism if you don't find political solutions to the different crises. And, obviously, one of the things we need in Iraq is an inclusive political solution in which all Iraqis feel that they are part of the new Iraq. Obviously, this was in the centre of my discussions with both Prime Minister Abadi and President Barzani.

Spokesman: Let's go to the next question. Associated Press, please.

Question: Thank you, Jennifer Peltz from the Associated Press. It's a bit of a technical question. What is the threshold for declaring a situation to be a famine? And how close are the other places to that status, other than the counties where it's already been declared?

Mr O'Brien: We use a number of measures. There's some very technical terms I'm going to… in terms of actual famine, it's very important because the people who absolutely have to interpret when the famine is declared are, of course, the main people who can do something about it. So I'm going to turn to Ertharin Cousin, because I think it's really important you hear it from where the trigger point happens. But we use number of inputs, not least FuseNet and others who categorize where we are in terms of people who are either starving, who are on the brink of famine and those who absolutely are not getting any kind of access to sufficient nutrition and people who are on the verge of dying or where we have had a number of deaths which are clearly attributable. But I think it's very important you hear directly from Ertharin Cousin.

Spokesman: Ertharin?

Ms Cousin: Thank you very much for turning to me on this. As you said, it's a very technical answer. There is a technical group that we call the IPC that includes WFP, FAO, FuseNet, and the surveys are performed. And what the data that is required is that there's a certain number of deaths per thousand that determine exactly when a famine is… has occurred. That is the situation in these two counties in Unity State in South Sudan today is that they have met that threshold number of deaths required to actually call a hunger situation a famine situation.

Spokesman: Thank you. Sam Oakford and that will have to be the last question.

Question: Thanks. I want to ask a question on Yemen given this is meant to be an emergency press conference in a way and not just the usual request for humanitarian funding. There's a situation in Hudaydah and the potential situation in Hudaydah, the port, where a lot of the food comes in currently, some of it is not getting in, but there's also the potential for military action there. And I'm wondering if you can comment on that and what effect that could have on the situation in Yemen going forward.

Secretary-General: Well, we have no information about what kind of military operations will be or not launched. What we are always saying is that what matters is that all parties to a conflict respect international humanitarian law and the law for access in relation to populations in dramatic situations, as it is the case, obviously, in Yemen.

Question: Can I ask a follow-up on Yemen, just a quick follow-up on Yemen? Okay. Thank you. It's Joseph Klein, Canada Free Press. According to this handout, 462,000 children are currently suffering severe acute malnutrition in Yemen. And, as you know, Saudi Arabia, which is a party to the conflict, leading the Coalition that has caused a number of… quite a number of civilian deaths, they were removed from a list of countries that were found to have committed violence against children. And I'm wondering to what extent -- you mentioned engaging parties to the conflict -- that you are going to specifically interact with the leaders of Saudi Arabia to try to influence them in relation to how they are conducting their operations. Thank you.

Secretary-General: In my visit to Saudi Arabia, I had occasion to ask for and to interact with the actors exactly in relation to the measures that can be taken in order to avoid the kind of collateral damage in a war that can have the consequences that you mentioned. It was one of the key points I have discussed with the Saudi authorities, in relation to which I had an extensive briefing on the situation and education to express my concern and the concern to make sure that everything is done to limit… in a war there is always, unfortunately, collateral damage but to limit maximum as possible death that collateral damage.

Spokesman: Great. Thank you very much.

[Briefing concludes at 2:40 p.m.]

Yemen: Paving the road for safer access in Alkhaisheen-Lahj

22 February 2017 - 8:51pm
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Yemen

Four people from Ta’iz died on the eve of Eid Al-Adha (a Muslim holiday celebrated every year) last year after their car plunged off the road. They were travelling from Aden to Taiz to spend the holiday with their families. People still remember the horrible car accident that took the life of Ziad Abdullah from Alqabaitah, Lahj, and badly injured three other passengers who were riding with him.

Such heartbroken stories are not but many. People lost their loved ones because of the steep and bumpy road connecting Taiz to Lahj. It had been reported that approximately twenty cars had crashed and overturned just recently on the Alkhasheen road killing and injuring people.

Taiz to flee the conflict in Taiz to Lahj and Aden. It is also the only way in and out from Taiz as both Haifan and Karish roads are blocked most of the time by the warring factions. It has been estimated that at least 200 cars and trucks use this rough road everyday for travelling between Taiz and Lahj and then to Aden and for moving goods.

Funded by the World Bank, UNDP has partnered with the Public Works Project (PWP) under the Emergency Crisis Response Project (ECRP) to rehabilitate community infrastructure and assets to benefit crisis-affected communities from temporary income through labor intensive activities.

PWP visited and met with people living in the area to know about their priority need prior to the project. They all insisted on paving the bumpy and steep parts of Alkhaisheen road to make it safe for people and families to travel. Benefiting around 37, 282 people, including 574 IDPs, the project will set up a retaining wall up along 50 linear meters and pave an area of 450 meters.

South Sudan: "In our world of plenty, there is no excuse for inaction or indifference" - UN Secretary-General

22 February 2017 - 5:05pm
Source: UN Secretary-General, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

More than 20 million people in North-East Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are facing famine or a credible risk of famine over the coming six months. With access to people in need and sufficient funding, the United Nations and its partners can avert famine and provide the necessary relief and support where famine already exists.

To avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the four countries over the coming months, the United Nations and its partners will continue to scale up humanitarian operations. Lifesaving assistance in the areas of food and livelihoods, nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene will be prioritised as these represent the key sectors of famine response and prevention.

"One of the biggest obstacles we face now is funding. Humanitarian operations in these four countries require more than $5.6 billion this year. We need at least $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe. Despite some generous pledges, just $90 million has actually been received so far – around two cents for every dollar needed", said UN Secretary-General António Guterres today addressing a packed press briefing at UN headquarters. "Funding shortages have already forced the World Food Programme to cut rations in Yemen by more than half since last year. Without new resources, critical shortages will worsen within months."

The United Nations is also stepping up cooperation between humanitarian and development partners. Strengthening such links, we are seeking not only to save lives but to build the resilience necessary for people to withstand future shocks.

Effective and efficient humanitarian delivery relies on access to reach people in need. The UN and its partners call for full, safe and unimpeded access to all those in need, wherever they are.

"The lives of millions of people depend on our collective ability to act", Mr Guterres stressed. "We have heard the alerts. Now there is no time to lose."

North-East Nigeria

  • 5.1 million people urgently need food and livelihoods assistance

  • 450,000 children suffering severe acute malnutrition

  • In 2016, humanitarian partners reached more than 2.3 million people with food and agriculture assistance and 1.1 million with water, sanitation and hygiene assistance

South Sudan

  • 100,000 people already facing famine

  • 1 million people on the brink of famine

  • 5 million people urgently need food and livelihoods assistance

  • 270,000 children suffering severe acute malnutrition

  • In 2016, humanitarian partners reached more than 5 million people with aid, including nearly 3.6 million with food assistance or emergency livelihoods support and more than 2 million people with access to clean water

Somalia

  • 2.9 million people urgently need food and livelihoods assistance

  • 185,000 children suffering severe acute malnutrition

  • In 2016, humanitarian partners reached over one million people with food and livelihoods support, treated nearly 140,000 children for severe acute malnutrition, and provided water and sanitation to over one million people

Yemen

  • 7.3 million people urgently need food assistance

  • 462,000 children suffering severe acute malnutrition

  • Humanitarian partners reached 5.3 million people with assistance in 2016, including an average of 3.8 million people with food assistance every month and 5.3 million people with direct health services

Nigeria: Famine Response and Prevention: North-East Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen

22 February 2017 - 3:04pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

More than 20 million people in North-East Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are facing famine or a credible risk of famine over the coming six months.

With access to people in need and sufficient funding, the United Nations and its partners can avert famine and provide the necessary relief and support where famine already exists.

To avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the four countries over the coming months, the United Nations and its partners will continue to scale up humanitarian operations.

Lifesaving assistance in the areas of food and livelihoods, nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene will be prioritised as these represent the key sectors of famine response and prevention.

The United Nations is also stepping up cooperation between humanitarian and development partners. Strengthening such links, we are seeking not only to save lives but to build the resilience necessary for people to withstand future shocks.

Overall, humanitarian operations in the four countries require more than US$5.6 billion in 2017, of which $4.4 billion is required for the key sectors by March. These figures may rise as the crises unfold.
Effective and efficient humanitarian delivery relies on access to reach people in need. The UN and its partners call for full, safe and unimpeded access to all those in need, wherever they are.

Yemen: WFP Yemen Situation Report #26, 21 February 2017

22 February 2017 - 11:15am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Yemen

Highlights

  • So far in February, WFP has reached 3.9 million people in 16 governorates with food assistance through general food distribution (GFD), its Commodity Vouchers through Trader’s Network (CVTN) programme as well as through its food assistance to Horn of Africa refugees at the Kharaz refugee camp in Lahj governorate.

  • From January 2017 WFP is scaling up its GFD to reach 6 million beneficiaries per month. However, critical resourcing challenges, delays in food shipments into Yemen and multiple access challenges country-wide has led to a shortage of key food commodities (such as cereals) and severely limited WFP’s ability to reach its 6 million target in January while also causing challenges for February.

  • According to newly released preliminary results from the joint WFPFAO-UNICEF-implemented Emergency Food Security and Nutrition Assessment (EFSNA), 17 million Yemenis are food insecure (an increase from 14.4 million as assessed by the June 2016 Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis), of which 7.3 million are severely food insecure (an increase from 7 million as assessed by the IPC).

Situation Update

  • In February, WFP is continuing to respond to the deteriorating humanitarian and food security situation across the country. Escalated fighting in the Mokha and Dhubab districts of Taizz governorate has led to new civilian displacement, while WFP has experienced an unusually high number of incidents of food assistance-transporting trucks being delayed or detained at checkpoints en route to Taizz - resulting in a slower rate of deliveries and distributions. To respond to new displacements in Mokha and Dhubab, in January and February WFP distributed food to 12,000 people from Mokha and Mawza districts as well as 7,200 people in eight districts of Hudaydah that are hosting large numbers of displaced people.

  • In addition to resourcing constraints, vessels carrying commercial and humanitarian supplies have been experiencing protracted delays in accessing Hudaydah port (the principal entry point for humanitarian aid for Yemen’s northern governorates), which has discouraged several shipping lines from serving the port. Efforts to transport four WFP-procured mobile port cranes to Hudaydah to boost the port’s capacity are ongoing and cranes are temporarily being stored at the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in the United Arab Emirates pending Coalition clearance for transport to Hudaydah.

South Sudan: Oxfam response to UK Government announcement to give £200m in aid to South Sudan and Somalia

22 February 2017 - 7:15am
Source: Oxfam Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Yemen

In response to the UK Government’s announcement to give an additional £200 million in aid to help prevent famine in South Sudan and Somalia, Oxfam’s Chief Executive, Mark Goldring, said: “We welcome this additional funding which will certainly make a difference to the dire humanitarian crises in South Sudan and Somalia.

“In South Sudan half country is expected to be affected by extreme hunger by July. Millions of people have been pushed to the brink and desperately need help. In Somalia, over six million people are in need of emergency food aid and the country is only weeks away from famine.

“Others must now follow the UK’s lead and provide more funding, to help prevent these crises from turning into catastrophes.

“We believe that Yemen and Nigeria are also on the brink of famine. In all four countries, we need urgent action to increase emergency funding and ensure greater access for humanitarian agencies so we can get help to all those that desperately need it."

Notes to editors:

Oxfam spokespeople are available. To arrange an interview please contact: Sarah Dransfield on 01865 472269 / 07884 114825

Oxfam’s response

In South Sudan we are currently helping 425,000 people with humanitarian assistance.

An assessment mission has been in Somalia and Oxfam is planning to launch a humanitarian response as soon as possible.

In Yemen we are helping over 1 million people. In Nigeria we have helped nearly 140,000 and are opening up new areas of work to reach more displaced people.

South Sudan: UK outlines new humanitarian support and urges international community to save lives before it's too late

22 February 2017 - 3:55am
Source: Department for International Development Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Yemen

The International Development Secretary Priti Patel has today announced new packages of life-saving UK aid for South Sudan and Somalia and issued a call to action to the international community to step up their support before it is too late.

Before this week there has been only one certified famine globally since 2000. Parts of South Sudan are now in famine and in 2017 there is a credible risk of another three famines in Yemen, North East Nigeria and Somalia. Drought and conflict in these countries are pushing families to the brink of starvation and there is also no end in sight to the six-year conflict which has ripped Syria apart.

As the world faces an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises, Priti Patel outlined how the UK will lead the world in supporting famine stricken areas. In response to famine warnings in Somalia and South Sudan she announced new UK support to provide lifesaving food, water and emergency healthcare which will save more than a million lives.

This is alongside continued life-saving aid to Yemen and North East Nigeria which provided food, medical supplies, water and emergency shelter to over two million people in 2016.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

The world faces a series of unprecedented humanitarian crises and the real threat of famine in four countries. These crises are being driven by conflict and drought and we must respond accordingly. Our commitment to UK aid means that when people are at risk of dying from drought and disaster, we have the tools and expertise to avoid catastrophe.

In times of crisis, the world looks to Britain not just for our work on the ground, but also for our leadership internationally. While we step up our support for emergency food, water and lifesaving care to those in need, our message to the world is clear – we must act now to help innocent people who are starving to death.

In Somalia, more than six million people have no reliable access to food and there are 360,000 acutely malnourished children. All the signs are pointing to a famine as bad, or worse, than the one in 2011 which killed 260,000 people. The UK is acting now to prevent this.

Today’s announcement of new support to Somalia will provide:

  • emergency food to up to one million people
  • life-saving nutritional support to more than 600,000 starving children and pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • safe drinking water for one million people
  • emergency healthcare for 1.7 million people

In South Sudan, famine has now been declared and more than half the population is in desperate need. Almost five million face the daily threat of going without enough food and water and three million people have been forced from their homes because of ruthless violence and widespread rape. The UK is leading the way by providing:

  • Food assistance for over 500,000 people
  • Life-saving nutritional support to more than 27,500 children
  • Safe drinking water for over 300,000 people
  • Emergency health services for over 100,000 people
  • Livelihood support for over 650,000 people
  • Vaccinations for over 200,000 livestock

In North East Nigeria, as Boko Haram is pushed out, we are increasing our humanitarian support. The UK is providing:

food to more than 1 million people treatment to 34,000 children at risk of death from hunger access to clean water and sanitation for more than 135,000 people In Yemen, the UK is delivering life-saving aid to the most vulnerable people which included supplying food, medical supplies, water and emergency shelter to over one million people last year.

To stop famine spreading and help support stability in these regions the system needs urgent reform. The UK is pushing for a faster, more effective international humanitarian system fit for the 21st century, which is firmly in our interests.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

  1. The UK is providing £100m in new support in Somalia and another £100m in South Sudan for 2017/18.
  2. In addition to South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and North East Nigeria, the UK is at the forefront of the response to the Syria crisis. UK aid is helping millions of civilians caught up in the war; supporting Syrian refugees to remain in host countries in the region; and is enabling host countries to accommodate them.
  3. The UK has committed £2.3 billion to the Syria Crisis Response between 2012 and 2020. Since February 2012, across Syria and the region, we have distributed over 21 million food rations that feed a person for a month, over 6.5 million relief packages, over 6.2 million vaccines and provided over 4.8 million medical consultations
  4. We are supporting the governments of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to better cope with a protracted refugee presence, and enable Syrian refugees to remain in the region until they can safely return to Syria. Our programmes are aimed at meeting immediate humanitarian need. In addition, we are improving people’s lives by helping support children into school to avoid a lost generation, creating job opportunities and improving skills.

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Yemen: Violence, a part of daily life in Yemen

22 February 2017 - 1:22am
Source: Handicap International Country: Yemen

“With more than 50,000 people killed or maimed in Yemen, and three million displaced since the start of the conflict two years ago, humanitarian needs remain high," explains Arnaud Pont, head of Handicap International’s emergency operations in Yemen. "Thousands [of people] need physical and functional rehabilitation care or psychological support. The crisis is still largely ignored by the international community."

That's not the case for Handicap International. “Since the end of 2015, Handicap International has been tireless in providing response in these areas by assisting rehabilitation departments in three hospitals in Sana’a.”

Handicap International teams have trained 235 medical staff, and donated nearly 7,000 mobility devices–wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches–as well as consultation tables, and other necessary supplies. Since August 2015, we’ve assisted more than 4,500 people in the Yemeni capital.** **

Teams provide psychological support to individuals who are injured in explosions, and to those who witness the death of a relative. Staff organize one-to-one and group discussion sessions to help people manage their depression, stress, or shock that comes from the traumatizing experiences that come with conflict.

Allowing the individual to discuss their trauma or other day-to-day problems, and connecting them with others who have similar experiences can often help them recover and rebuild their lives.

Handicap International in Yemen

Handicap International worked in Yemen from the early 2000s up to 2012, focusing on physical rehabilitation. Since 2014, we support individuals affected by the ongoing conflict and assess the impact of the explosive remnants of war left by the current bombings. Learn more about our work in Yemen.