20 Million Yemenis in Need of Help

20 Million Yemenis in Need of Help
Fri Jun 12, 2015 17:23:28

Eighty percent of Yemen's population, or more than 20 million people, need some form of humanitarian assistance as the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes ravage the impoverished country, aid agency UNICEF revealed.

The figure is up by almost 5 million people since the organization's latest report last week, al-Manar reported.

The coalition's de facto blockade of Yemen's air space and ports has cut off supplies of food and fuel to the parched country, where gas-powered pumps providing water for drinking and sanitation now lie mostly inoperable.

Over 20 million people are now estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, of whom 9.3 million are children," Jeremy Hopkins, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF, said from the capital, Sana’a.

"The de facto blockade on Yemen's ports, though there is some easing, means fuel is not coming into the country, and since pumps are mechanized that means over 20 million people don't have access to safe water," he added.

Other urgent humanitarian needs, he said, include malnutrition, shortages of medical supplies, mounting civilian casualties in airstrikes, recruitment of child soldiers and damage to schools.

Even before the conflict, UNICEF said around 10 million people in Yemen needed humanitarian assistance, a product of decades of underdevelopment in the mountainous and barely governed Peninsula state.

Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen in the last 79 days to bring its ally, fugitive president Mansur Hadi, back to power.

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