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Yemen: Humanitarian concerns grow

27 Mar 2015

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Mother and child wait for attendance at a hospital that assists malnourished children in the impoverished area of Bayt al-Faqih, Yemen. Credit: IRIN/Juan Herrero
 
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Against a backdrop of fierce fighting and heavy air strikes, the Humanitarian Coordinator urges all parties to the conflict to observe their obligations to protect civilians and allow access for humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.

Against a backdrop of fierce fighting and heavy air strikes, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, today issued a statement from the country's capital Sana'a, urging all parties to the conflict to observe their obligations to protect civilians and allow access for humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.

“Continued fighting could have disastrous consequences for the well-being and survival of millions of people who are already deprived of access to basic healthcare, safe drinking water, food, nutrition and protection,” he said.

He noted on-going conflict over the last year has led to increased protection violations, including the targeting of schools and health facilities. These incidents often had a disproportionate impact on children, he said, adding conflict displacement affected some 100,000 people in the last year alone, with women and children being most affected.

Already the poorest country in the Middle East, the majority of humanitarian needs in Yemen stem from decades of endemic poverty, underdevelopment and weak institutions. In 2015, humanitarian partners estimate that about 15.9 million people – or 61 per cent of the population – will require some kind of humanitarian assistance. This number could further increase if violence continues to escalate.

The humanitarian community is currently seeking $747.5 million to provide a range of life-saving, protection and resilience services for 8.2 million people – including $284.6 million for the most urgent life-saving and protection programmes.