Yemen War a Recurring Nightmare - UN Humanitarian Chief
By Staff, Agencies
Observing the bloody war in Yemen is like watching a grim version of the Hollywood hit "Groundhog Day," where the protagonist can’t escape the same day repeating on an endless loop, the head of the UN's humanitarian agency said Monday.
"Just as in 'Groundhog Day,' the details in my briefings to you change from month to month,” said Mark Lowcock, the UN's under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, during a Security Council briefing on the conflict.
“The larger picture though does not … Yemen is getting more violent, not less. The conflict is getting worse, not better. Fighting this year has displaced more than 250,000 people," Lowcock said. "The number of incidents killing or injuring children more than tripled between the last quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of this year. In recent days, we have also seen a dangerous and reprehensible increase in attacks on Saudi Arabia, as well as airstrikes in Sana’a and other areas.”
Lowcock cited one independent monitoring group’s assessment of the death toll, saying it has reached 70,000 people since 2016. The war began in March 2014.
Yemen has become and remains a humanitarian disaster, Lowcock noted.
“We give you the figures every month,” he said. “Eighty percent of the population — more than 24 million people — need assistance and protection, including 10 million who rely on food aid to survive. Some 600 incidents per month damage or destroy civilian infrastructure. More than 100 hospitals, health facilities and schools were hit just last year. A quarter of children are out of school. More than 3.3 million people remain displaced. The economy has been devastated, shrinking by 40 percent or more.”