Middle East/North Africa

8M Yemenis at risk of losing aid in March, says UN

A family in Yemen
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U.N. officials warned this week that up to eight million Yemenis could lose aid in March if new funding isn’t provided, saying that inaction could be a “death sentence” for many.

In a briefing to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg warned that this past month was marked by an “appalling record numbers in civilian casualties.”

“Yemen’s war continues to be fought also in the economic arena, with warring sides battling over resources, trade flows and monetary policy,” said Grundberg.

“The impact of this aspect of the war continues to irrefutably hit Yemen’s population as a whole. The past month has seen particularly severe shortages in fuel and oil derivatives, notably in areas controlled by Ansar Allah, putting unprecedented strain on the everyday lives of people,” he continued.

Martin Griffiths, the U.N.’s humanitarian affairs chief and emergency relief coordinator, said the World Food Program had reduced food rations for eight million people in December and that beginning in March, those people “may get no food at all — or just a reduced ration.”

He also warned that disruptions to water and sanitation services could leave up to 3.6 million people without safe drinking water. 

According to Griffiths, recent actions to shore up money for aid are not sustainable solutions.

“If these gaps aren’t addressed, it will simply be a death sentence for people whose coping mechanisms in some cases are completely exhausted and who rely on assistance for their survival,” said Griffiths. “We cannot let the aid operation in Yemen fall apart.”

Tags Hans Grundberg Martin Griffiths United Nations Yemen Yemeni Civil War

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