New humanitarian pause needed in Yemen, says UN chief

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4 June 2015

A new humanitarian pause is needed in Yemen to allow assistance to reach people in need, the UN Secretary-General has reiterated.

Humanitarian needs are reportedly becoming increasingly intense as fighting continues between government forces and Houthi rebels.

The UN says the international community must take action to alleviate the worst consequences of the conflict.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, was reported on Thursday to be “working intensively” to bring Yemeni parties together in Geneva as soon as possible for political consultations.

In May, a pause in fighting for five days allowed essential humanitarian supplies in but did not allow for a political dialogue.

Meanwhile, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric highlighted how the situation on the ground in Yemen is becoming increasingly intense.

“To just illustrate that point, our colleagues at OCHA, the Humanitarian Office report that the Operations Room of the Ministry of Health in Sana’a, which manages all emergency operations for Yemen, was damaged yesterday.  The damage incurred is expected to further cripple already strained emergency health relief operations.”

Wednesday’s incident follows damage to dozens of health facilities by fighting, shelling and airstrikes.

Ten health care workers have been killed or injured while carrying out their duties since the escalation of the conflict in March.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.