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UN humanitarian chief briefs Security Council on Yemen

15 Sep 2020

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Aden, Yemen, March 2019. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock today briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

As Yemen once again faces the spectre of famine, Mr. Lowcock reiterated the need for renewed focus on the protection of civilians, humanitarian access, funding, support for the economy and progress towards peace.

During his briefing, the UN humanitarian chief told the Security Council that he had recently being speaking on the phone with people from all over Yemen, to hear their concerns.

One person he had talked with is Mohammed, who fled Sa’ada to seek refuge in Sana’a after air strikes destroyed his house and the bus he used to drive. His family had been receiving aid every month, but it too has been cut back.

“His children are now too hungry to go to school. Every night, they ask him: ‘Daddy, where is the food – when is it coming?’ He doesn’t have an answer for them, and he’s hoping you will do something to help. He’s worried the world has forgotten about people like him – or worse, has decided to do nothing,” Mr. Lowcock told the Security Council.

“When you talk to people like this – and there are millions just like them all across Yemen – and listen to their articulate, human and emotional stories, the main thing you learn is they are just like us, except they are victims of people and forces over whom they have no influence or control,” he said.

“Their stories may be hard to hear, but they are a lot harder to live. Yemen is in the state it is because those with power and influence have decided there are things more important than the fate of these people. Isn’t it way past time for a different decision?”, he asked.

His full remarks are available online.

Ahead of his briefing today, Mr. Lowcock spoke with CNN’s Connect the World yesterday regarding the humanitarian situation in Yemen.