UN Envoy Warns of Probable Famine in Yemen

UN Envoy Warns of Probable Famine in Yemen
Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:47:08

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen warned Wednesday that the conflict-torn Middle East nation is “one step” from famine, with 31 million people in need of humanitarian assistance compared with just 7 million two years ago, Al-Alam News Network reports.


Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council behind closed doors that the dire suffering of the Yemeni people will end when there is “a true cease-fire.”

The humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country has escalated as the conflict has intensified.

The conflict has left 20 million Yemenis without access to safe drinking water and uprooted over one million people from their homes, Ould Cheikh Ahmed said.

A near-blockade of Yemen’s ports has made it very difficult to deliver humanitarian aid.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who mediated talks between the parties in Geneva last week, said that despite the deep divisions and failure to reach any agreement, “both sides showed signs of constructive engagement and there is an emerging common ground upon which we can build to achieve an eventual cease-fire coupled with the withdrawal of combatants.”

He called for a humanitarian pause during the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan as a first step toward a sustainable cease-fire that would be monitored by “an international, impartial mechanism.”

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