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Massive famine risk looms in Yemen as aid agencies run out of money, UN says

Yemen Faces Famine Crisis

As Yemen faces a collapsing economy and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis, the country is also at risk of a “massive” famine as aid agencies run out of money, according to the Associated Press.

Ramesh Rajasangham, Deputy Head of Human Rights United Nations, Briefed the UN Security Council on Thursday on the dire situation.

Rajasingham said more than 20 million people in Yemen, or two-thirds of its population, needed humanitarian assistance. But aid agencies, once again, are running out of money.

The agencies are currently helping about 13 million people in Yemen, about 33 million more than a few months ago, which Rajasangham said may have “pushed back the immediate threat of massive famine.” He warned that the agencies do not have enough funds to continue providing assistance to those in need on this scale, and that aid to up to 4 million people could be reduced “in the coming weeks and months”.

“We urge everyone to make every effort to maintain the momentum we have created over the past several months and to stem the tide of famine,” he said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Yemen is facing a famine crisis.
Yemen, a nation plagued by a collapsing economy and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis, is at risk of massive famine due to a shortage of aid money. On October 10, 2021, security personnel in the Yemeni port city of Aden stood among the wreckage of a wrecked car at the scene of a deadly car bomb attack that targeted two senior government officials who survived.
Val Kabaddi / AP Photo

Yemen has been embroiled in civil war since 2014, when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized control of the capital, Sanaa, and much of the northern part of the country, pushing the internationally recognized government south, then Saudi Arabia. Forced to flee.

The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in March 2015 with US support and tried to restore President Abid Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power and threw its support behind its government. Despite constant air campaigns and ground battles, the war was largely stalled and led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The United States has since suspended its direct involvement in the conflict.

In early 2020, the Houthis launched an offensive in the predominantly government-held province of Marib, killing thousands of young people and forcing thousands of displaced people to flee persistently and relocate.

On Thursday, tribal leaders and Yemeni officials said at least 140 fighters from both sides had been killed in fighting in Marib in the past 24 hours. He said clashes were taking place in Abdia and Al-Juba districts.

In a briefing to the Security Council, Rajasangham said the Houthis had “intensified their brutal operation in Marib, taking over more territory there and in neighboring neighboring the southern province of Shibwa.”

He also pointed to clashes between rival armed groups in the southern city of Aden earlier this month, where Hadi’s government had set up headquarters after pushing the Houthis out of Sanaa and north, and fighting in northwestern Saada and west. , Shelling and air strikes continued. Hajjah and Hodeidah provinces “and about 50 with 50 other front lines.”

In September, 235 civilians were killed or wounded, the second highest number in two years, and fighting in Marib is taking “particularly heavy civilian casualties”, displacing about 10,000 to 10,000 people in September. This is the second highest number in years, Rajasangham said.

The new UN special envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, who took office last month, told the council that he had met with government and Houthi officials, as well as key regional and international officials, to seek a political solution. How to move towards restoring peace in Yemen

“The trust gap between the warring parties is widening and widening,” he said in a virtual briefing.

Grundberg said he made it clear that although there should be immediate progress on humanitarian and economic issues, unconditional political dialogue was necessary to resolve the conflict.

“Let’s not fool ourselves, it will be a laborious and complex task that will take time, but it must happen,” Grundberg said. “The last few weeks have highlighted the tension between the pace of the war and the economic catastrophe on the one hand, and the need for time to formulate and consult on a possible way forward on the other.”

Rajasangham reiterated that Yemen’s economic collapse was “meeting the country’s greatest needs – including the threat of famine.”

He said Yemen imports almost everything, and the Yemeni rial is trading at about 2,270 riyals with the dollar in Aden, which is about six times more than before the war, and less cargo at domestic ports. Reaching He said commercial food imports at the major ports of Hodeidah and Salaf were 8% lower than the average in September last year, and “fuel imports were alarmingly 64% lower”.

He called for immediate action to stem the country’s economic downturn, including the injection of foreign exchange through the central bank, which would bring down prices sharply, as he had done in the past, and complete all ports. Opening up, lifting import restrictions on Hodeidah and Salaf, and salaries of government employees

Rajasangham briefing on the crisis in Yemen.
UN Deputy Humanitarian Chief Ramesh Rajasangham warned on Thursday that there could be a “massive” famine in Yemen as aid agencies run out of money. Above, Rajasangham addresses a press conference on November 28, 2016, at the United Nations Transhipment Center in Reyhanl کے, Slyogozu, near the Turkish-Syrian border.
Ozan Kos / AFP via Getty Images