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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: South Sudan - Yemen

14 Jul 2021

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A family at a site for internally displaced people in Al-Dhale’e Governorate, Yemen, February 2020. © Mahmoud Fadel-YPN for OCHA

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 14 July 2021

Yemen

The humanitarian situation in Yemen remains dire, including the very real threat of famine this year. We are particularly concerned by the pronounced escalation in conflict in Marib and elsewhere in recent weeks, which threatens millions of people. 

The collapse of Yemen’s currency – which is trading at record lows of around 1,000 rial to the dollar in some areas – will also make it much harder for Yemenis to afford food and other essentials. That is very bad news for the risk of famine and means more people are likely to look to humanitarian agencies for support. 

The fastest way to help is to increase support for the UN response plan. Yemen’s appeal is currently 44 per cent funded. This funding is making a real difference, allowing agencies to scale up programs and reach more people. But it will start running out again in September, which will force agencies to scale down assistance just as people’s needs are likely to intensify. That would be catastrophic for millions of people who rely on these programs to survive.

The UN hopes donors will increase their support as quickly as possible. And as always, the UN is also calling for more steps to protect civilians in Yemen, ensure humanitarian access, support the economy (including the flow of imports into all ports) and promote a political solution.

 

South Sudan

Arafat Jamal, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan, issued today a statement strongly condemning the latest attack on aid workers and assets in Tonj North.

Fighting broke out between youth groups in Marial Lou, Tonj North, Warrap State on 8 July and continued into the next day. According to initial reports, more than 5,000 people were displaced; hundreds of shelters were burned down; health centres, schools and churches were vandalized.

Tonj North is one of six counties in South Sudan where families risk facing catastrophic levels of hunger at the height of the lean season. 

Since early 2021, more than 911 metric tons of food items and nutrition supplements have been looted or destroyed during sub-national violence across the country. These supplies were enough to feed more than 41,000 food-insecure people for up to four months.

Since March, there has been a rise in the number of attacks against aid workers, people serving the community, and assets across South Sudan. 

Mr. Jamal called on authorities to make every effort to protect communities, humanitarian personnel and assets across the country, adding that those who commit these crimes are punishing the most vulnerable people in their own communities.