UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said that at least 10,000 children have died in Yemen in the nearly eight years of war, asking for 4.27 billion international funding as “two in three Yemenis” are living in extreme poverty.
“Yemen may have receded from the headlines, but the human suffering has not relented. For seven years and counting, the Yemeni people have been confronting death, destruction, displacement, starvation, terror, division and destitution on a massive scale,” Guterres said at UN headquarters in New York.
Guterres furthered that for millions of internally displaced people, life is a daily struggle for survival. “The economy has reached new depths of despair. And the war in Ukraine will only make all of that even worse with skyrocketing prices for food, fuel and other essentials,” Guterres added.
According to Guterres, millions are facing extreme hunger, and the World Food Program had to cut rations in half due to the lack of funds. “Further cuts are looming. This is a tragedy,” he added.
Guterres issued the dire assessment as the international body launches an appeal for $4.27 billion to address Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe as international funding runs dry.
“We are ready to keep supporting the Yemeni people – but we cannot do it alone. We need your help,” Guterres said during a UN pledging event. “As a matter of moral responsibility, of human decency and compassion, of international solidarity, and of life and death, we must support the people of Yemen now.”
Guterres said that they already scaled up operations in Marib city with additional support from the Central Emergency Response Fund, which had already allocated over 230 million dollars to Yemen since 2015.
Guterres further the funding will provide nutrition to almost 7 million people. “11 million people will be provided with potable water, sanitation, hygiene, and protection, while 13 million people with health care and another five million children with education facilities.”
Guterres called for an immediate end to hostilities, stressing that there is no military solution to the conflict.
“Allowing the war to continue is a choice. But ending it is also a choice. I appeal to the parties to choose peace. And I remind all parties to conflict everywhere of their obligations under international humanitarian law,” Guterres added.
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