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UN humanitarian chief briefs Security Council on Yemen

12 May 2021

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Marib desert settlement for internally displaced people, Marib, Yemen, December 2020. © Giles Clarke for OCHA

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

Mr. Lowcock said that famine is still stalking Yemen, with 5 million people just a step away from starving. COVID-19 also continues to surge, pushing the health-care system to collapse.

On the fighting in Marib, the UN humanitarian chief said that the fighting had caused 25,000 people to flee since February. He added that if the fighting doesn’t stop, aid agencies fear that up to 385,000 people could be displaced in the coming months.

The fighting in Marib has also fuelled escalations in other places, including Hajjah, Hudaydah and Taizz, and those, too, are harming civilians, Mr. Lowcock said.

With millions of people on the brink of starvation and COVID-19 sweeping the country, USG Lowcock said that what is needed right now is a nationwide ceasefire.

“Famine, disease and other miseries are not simply ‘happening’ in Yemen. The war is imposing them. As long as the war continues, they will keep getting worse. That’s why it is so important to stop the fighting,” Mr. Lowcock said. 

Mr. Lowcock’s full remarks are available online.