‘Stuff of nightmares in Yemen’: UN officials

Published November 18, 2018
David Beasley of WFP, who had just returned from a three-day visit to Yemen, said that he had witnessed a country on the brink of catastrophe. “What I have seen in Yemen this week is the stuff of nightmares, of horror, of deprivation, of misery. And we — all of humanity — have only ourselves to blame.” — AFP/File
David Beasley of WFP, who had just returned from a three-day visit to Yemen, said that he had witnessed a country on the brink of catastrophe. “What I have seen in Yemen this week is the stuff of nightmares, of horror, of deprivation, of misery. And we — all of humanity — have only ourselves to blame.” — AFP/File

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director provided new details of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen after their visit to the country.

Addressing the UN Security Council on Friday, David Beasley of WFP, who had just returned from a three-day visit to Yemen, said that he had witnessed a country on the brink of catastrophe. “What I have seen in Yemen this week is the stuff of nightmares, of horror, of deprivation, of misery. And we — all of humanity — have only ourselves to blame.”

Describing what he saw at a hospital in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, Beasley said that there were dozens of severely sick and malnourished children, with around 50 cases arriving every day. “They only have room for 20. The rest? They go home to die.”

The price of simple basic food staples in Yemen has doubled in the last eight months, said Beasley, even as household livelihoods are shrinking. “For a country that’s dependent on imports for the basic needs of life, this is disaster”.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock revealed that despite calls for the violence to stop, UN sources have observed nearly 800 separate incidents of shelling, armed clashes, or air strikes across Yemen; often with devastating consequences for civilians and, due to the fighting, humanitarian programmes had been scaled back in the port of Hodeida, a crucial gateway for aid efforts.

He also said that Saudi Arabia had helped to stabilise the Yemeni rial, depositing $200 million with the Central Bank of Yemen, which helped to finance imports of food and other essential commodities, but more funds for humanitarian assistance will be needed, given the growing challenges faced by Yemen.

The UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths at the Security Council meeting also announced that the Yemeni government and rival Ansar Allah Houthi militants were committed to working on a political solution and he had received assurances from both sides of a renewed commitment to attend talks.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

Debt deferment
Updated 26 Sep, 2022

Debt deferment

Pakistan’s dollar funding needs for next 5 years have never been so large and world’s appetite to hold its hands never so poor.
Dengue concerns
26 Sep, 2022

Dengue concerns

AS weather conditions change in Pakistan, the threat of dengue looms large over the land. According to a warning...
Relic of colonialism
26 Sep, 2022

Relic of colonialism

THE law on sedition, one of several holdovers of colonial times, is among the most handy instruments for controlling...
UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...