Ending Yemen’s ongoing famine is an “overarching humanitarian priority” amid a litany of crises, the UN’s outgoing special envoy for the country said. Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council on Monday that roughly two-thirds of the war-ravaged country’s population – about 20 million people – rely on humanitarian aid for their day-to-day needs.
Roughly five million people “are one step away from succumbing to famine and the diseases that go with it”, he warned. An additional 10 million people “are right behind them”, added Griffiths. “Famine isn’t just a food problem. It’s a symptom of a much deeper collapse. In many ways, it is all of Yemen’s problems rolled into one, and it demands a comprehensive response,” he said.
Khaled Mohamed Khiari, assistant UN secretary-general for the Middle East, raised further alarm over widespread fuel shortages that are worsening in Houthi-controlled territories. Only three ships carrying oil supplies were allowed to dock at Yemen’s strategic port city of Hodeidah since July, while four others remain in a holding area controlled by the Saudi Arabia-led, anti-Houthi coalition, Khiari said.


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