Yemen is facing a critical humanitarian disaster with more than half of the country’s population in dire need of assistance, the UN has warned.
UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick announced on Tuesday that 14 million people are at risk of famine and disease with around $1.8 billion needed this year to support them.
Yemen has been in a state of civil war since Houthis took control of the capital Sanaa on September 21st 2014. They came into conflict with armed forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on one hand, and so-called the popular resistance on the other hand which has the support of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Egypt and Sudan.
Terrorist groups like al-Qaeda have taken advantage of the strife to strengthen their position across broad swathes of the territory.
McGoldrick’s statements came during a press conference that was held in Jordanian capital Amman on Tuesday March 1st, in which he called the international community to respond promptly to the humanitarian rescue plan that was approved in Geneva on February 19th.
He added that the donor countries have so far provided only $892 million out of $1.6 billion pledged, while the UN is in desperate need for more financial support to support those affected by the war. Several Yemeni cities are facing severe shortages of food and medicine.
On June 19th 2015, the UN warned of the escalating humanitarian disaster in Yemen, especially with the continuous fight taking place in about 20 cities out of 22, blocking much humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in those cities.
According to international reports, the war in Yemen has killed at least 4000 people, half of them civilians and children, and displaced more than 1.4 million of Yemen’s 26 million inhabitants.