UN: Time to Redouble Peace Efforts in Yemen

UN: Time to Redouble Peace Efforts in YemenUN: Time to Redouble Peace Efforts in Yemen

The United Nations aid chief on Tuesday urged the Security Council to redouble efforts to secure a pause in fighting in Yemen, saying he would travel to the country within weeks.

“This conflict has brought appalling damage on an already suffering people,” former British MP Stephen O’Brien told the Council in New York as the latest truce collapsed, AFP reported.

“We must redouble our efforts to secure a pause in the fighting which is adhered to by all parties, to reach all those in need with basic assistance and urgently to give time and space to seek to reach a more durable ceasefire and a political solution.”

O’Brien, who took up his position in late May, said he would travel to Yemen “in the coming weeks to see for myself the needs of the Yemeni people and the challenges faced.”

Yemen’s ambassador to the UN, Khaled Hussein Alyemany, said the visit would take place on August 9.

O’Brien told the UNSC the much-needed aid response in Yemen was “woefully under-resourced.”

So far, only 15%, or $241 million, had been received out of the United Nations’ $1.6 billion appeal.

Aid agencies developed a plan to reach three million people, during a five-day truce unilaterally declared by a Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen, with vital aid, including water, sanitation, food and life-saving healthcare.

Around 80% of Yemen’s population, an estimated 21 million people, are in need of aid and protection and more than 10 million are struggling to obtain food and water, the UN says.

The truce was shattered on Tuesday with the resumption of Saudi-led airstrikes and fighting in the south of the country.