Millions could die in Yemen - UN

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By Catherine Hardy  with XINHUA
Millions could die in Yemen - UN

Yemen is facing a devastating famine unless the current air, sea and land blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition is lifted.

“It will be the largest famine the world hasn’t seen for many decades, with millions of victims,” UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock told reporters.

He had briefed the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in the country.

He had been asked to brief the UNSC which held a closed-door meeting over Yemen.

What did he ask for?

Five steps to avert the imminent humanitarian tragedy.

They include a resumption of flights by the UN and partners to Yemeni cities Sanaa and Aden, assurances that the air services will not be disrupted, an agreement on the pre-positioning of the World Food Program vessel in the waters off Aden and assurances that its functions will not be disrupted.

Humanitarian and commercial access to all seaports of Yemen must be resumed and interference of all vessels that have passed UN inspection must be scaled back.

What is the context?

Yemen has been in civil war since 2015, pitting Sanaa-based Houthi forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against forces of the incumbent government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden.

A Saudi-led coalition uses airstrikes to restore the Hadi government.