Yemen crisis worsening as 30 civilians die every day

Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sana'a. File Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sana’a. File Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

15 September 2015 – United Nations Radio


Fighting in Yemen claims 30 lives a day and injures nearly 200, the UN said Tuesday, while also warning that the country’s humanitarian crisis continues to worsen.

Warning of critical shortages in vital fuel and medical imports, the UN agency behind the alert, OCHA, also highlighted ongoing destruction of hospitals and schools.

It reports that more than 21 million people in Yemen – 80 per cent of the population – now require protection or aid as fighting continues between forces loyal to exiled president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels.

Maria Carlino has more.

Fighting has spread rapidly across much of Yemen since mid-March with devastating consequences for civilians, the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, says.

According to its findings, 30 civilians are killed every day and 185 are injured by the conflict.

OCHA also warns over the continued destruction of hospitals, mosques and schools.

But equally worrying are critical shortages of fuel after imports met just 12 per cent of the country’s needs in August.

A lack of medicines is also severely hampering Yemen’s healthcare needs.

Here’s OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke:

“Depletion of medicines and fuel continues to be a very big problem, fuel particularly to run hospital generators is problematic. As you may know, Yemen relies for its fuel requirements for 70 per cent on imports, and 100 per cent of its medicines are imported; there’s no production in country.”

The decrease in shipments to Yemen is linked to damage to the main ports including Al Hudaydah, but also an unwillingness by commercial  shipping companies to berth in Yemen amid continued insecurity.

OCHA also warns that Yemen has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries to work in with at least seven journalists killed there this year, compared with two in 2014.

Maria Carlino, United Nations.