02, Jan 2018 | CJP Team
As 2017 came to a close, the heads of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations’ children’s agency (UNICEF) issued a statement on the conflict in Yemen, saying that it “has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” having “passed the tipping point into a rapid decline from crisis to deepening catastrophe.” The statement said that “some 75 per cent of Yemen’s population are in need of humanitarian assistance”. It also said that “at least 60 per cent of Yemenis are now food insecure and 16 million people do not have access to safe water and proper sanitation”. The statement noted recent progress, with the “Hudaydah port” opening for commercial food and fuel imports; it emphasised that these supplies must be maintained. It said that “safe water is now completely unaffordable for more than two thirds of Yemenis living in extreme poverty,” and that fuel is rapidly dwindling for “water pumping stations serving over 3 million”. The statement said that UN agencies lack “full humanitarian access” to some of the worst hit communities and so are unable to “assess their needs.” It outlined the agencies’ efforts in humanitarian assistance, including distributing clean water, fuel, medication and medical supplies, as well as vaccinations and treatment of children with acute malnutrition, noting that today, “anyone sick with suspected cholera who is able to access health services has an almost 100 per cent chance of surviving.” However, it stressed that deteriorating “conditions on the ground threaten to overwhelm our capacity to respond,” and urged all parties involved to allow “full humanitarian access” and called for the immediate cessation of fighting.