The United Nations Security Council holds a meeting on the situation of Yemen, at the UN headquarters in New York, July 18, 2019. UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock on Thursday warned that conditions for most people in Yemen are getting worse. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, July 18 (Xinhua) — UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock on Thursday warned that conditions for most people in Yemen are getting worse.
The Security Council last year offered unequivocal support for the humanitarian relief operation in Yemen, Lowcock told the 15-member council in a meeting on the situation of Yemen. “Unfortunately, your calls have not been heeded.”
Since June, 120,000 more people have fled their homes due to the fighting rages on, bringing total displacement this year to more than 300,000 people, he said, adding that renewed conflict in Hodeidah governorate have been seen, despite the governorate-wide ceasefire agreed in Stockholm.
Lowcock said that the humanitarian access has been hindered by different parties in Yemen.
Houthis-affiliated authorities in the north continue to hinder humanitarian assistance in areas they control through bureaucratic impediments and interference, while in Government-controlled areas, Coalition forces continue to impose bureaucratic requirements on humanitarian agencies trying to travel up the west coast from the south, he added.
A civil war has plagued Yemen since late 2014 after Houthi rebels revolted and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.
Lowcock also warned that the funding is not enough. At the High-Level Pledging Event for this year’s humanitarian response plan, which the UN Secretary-General convened in February, donors pledged 2.6 billion U.S. dollars.
But those who made the largest pledges – Yemen’s neighbours in the Coalition – have so far paid only a modest proportion of what they promised, he said, adding that the response plan is currently only 34 percent funded as a result.
In the next two months, UN agencies expect to close 21 more key programs, he said. “In August, this could mean,for example, an end to shelter services for more than 800,000 displaced people, as well as an end to reproductive health services available to 1 million impoverished women.”
So far this year, nearly 500,000 cases of cholera have been reported, and more than 700 deaths as a result, including more than 200 children, said Lowcock, adding this is the impact of these cuts, and “the death toll will surely grow”.