Author Archives: Mohammed Al-Zuhairi

إلغاء 32 رحلة إغاثة جوية متوجهة إلى اليمن بسبب الإغلاق

أحد أحياء مدينة صنعاء. Photo: Giles Clarke for UNOCHA

2017/11/21

أفاد فرحان حق نائب المتحدث باسم الأمم المتحدة بأن 32 رحلة إغاثة إنسانية جوية متوجهة إلى اليمن قد ألغيت، فيما لم يرد التحالف بقيادة السعودية على الطلبات الجديدة المقدمة من خدمات الرحلات الجوية الإنسانية التابعة للأمم المتحدة.

وأضاف حق أن تلك الخدمات الجوية لا تتمكن من تيسير الرحلات سوى إلى عدن، بسبب إغلاق الموانئ اليمنية المفروض من التحالف.

وقال إن العاملين في المجال الإنساني غير قادرين على التنقل من وإلى صنعاء منذ فرض الإغلاق في أوائل الشهر الحالي.

وكان مكتب الأمم المتحدة لتنسيق الشؤون الإنسانية قد ذكر أن الإغلاق المفروض على الموانئ اليمنية يفاقم الأزمة الإنسانية في ظل نفاد الغذاء والوقود والإمدادات الطبية.

وقد أدى الإغلاق إلى ارتفاع حاد في أسعار الغذاء والوقود في اليمن.

Statement by the humanitarian community on the blockade in Yemen

16 November 2017

The humanitarian community in Yemen is outraged by the continued blockade by the Saudi-led coalition of humanitarian and commercial supplies desperately needed for the survival of the Yemeni population.

Now in its eleventh day, the blockade on almost all of Yemen’s seaports, airports and land crossings prevents the entry of food, fuel, medicines and supplies, exposing millions of people to disease, starvation and death. While the reopening of Aden port and airport is a positive development, it is insufficient to cover the needs of the entire Yemeni population.

Ongoing obstruction by the Saudi-led coalition to the delivery of critical supplies is a measure which may amount to collective punishment of millions of Yemeni people. It exacerbates the world’s worst humanitarian crisis where almost three years of war have left over twenty million people in need of assistance, seven million of them on the brink of famine.

The humanitarian community in Yemen calls on the Saudi-led coalition to immediately reopen all Yemeni ports to commercial and humanitarian cargo, without which millions of people are at risk of starvation and death. Humanitarian flights to Sana’a must be allowed to resume immediately to ensure the movement of aid workers and the transport of relief cargo.

We further call on all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the principle of proportionality in the conduct of hostilities and allowing access for humanitarian relief to civilians in need.

Finally, we appeal to States who have influence over the parties to the conflict to step up their engagement to bring about a political solution to the crisis. The suffering of the Yemeni people must stop.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.

غوتيريش من بون: علينا أن نكف عن الرهان على مستقبل غير مستدام يعرض المجتمعات للخطر

الأمين العام في مؤتمر الأمم المتحدة للمناخ في بون. Photo: Video screen capture

2017/11/15

دعا الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة أنطونيو غوتيريش إلى رفع مستوى الطموحات وبذل المزيد من الجهود للعمل على أجندة المناخ، واصفا تغير المناخ بـالتهديد الحاسم لعصرنا.
 
وحدد غوتيريش، في كلمته بمؤتمر الأمم المتحدة للمناخ المنعقد في بون، خمسة مجالات للعمل، هي: خفض الانبعاثات والتكيف والتمويل والشراكات والقيادة.
 
وقال إن الوقت ينفد للحفاظ على مستوى ارتفاع درجات الحرارة العالمية تحت درجتين مئويتين، وفق اتفاق باريس:
 
“قد تغلق نافذة الفرص لتحقيق هدف الدرجتين المئويتين في غضون 20 عاما أو أقل. لدينا خمس سنوات فقط لثني منحنى الانبعاثات نحو درجة ونصف مئوية. نحن بحاجة إلى خفض الانبعاثات بنسبة 25 في المائة على الأقل بحلول عام 2020.”
 
وبينما حث الأمين العام جميع البلدان على الوفاء بالتزاماتها في اتفاقية باريس، أشار إلى علامات مشجعة على التقدم الذي أحرزته بلدان أخرى، قائلا إن الاقتصادات الضخمة مثل الصين والهند تسير على الطريق الصحيح لتحقيق التزامات باريس بل وتجاوزها.
 
كما شدد غوتيريش على ضرورة التكيف مع تغير المناخ وتعزيز قدرة المجتمعات على الصمود، قائلا إنه قد طلب من منظومة الأمم المتحدة تعزيز جهود الدول الأعضاء في التكيف والمرونة. ودعا كذلك البلدان، لا سيما الدول المانحة، إلى الإسراع في دعم مبادرة “صندوق المناخ الأخضر” التي يمكن أن تضطلع بدور حاسم في هذا الشأن.
 
ونوّه الأمين العام إلى أن خفض الانبعاثات والعمل على التكيف والقدرة على الصمود يرتبط ارتباطا وثيقا بالتمويل. وفي هذا الصدد، دعا إلى جمع 100 مليار دولار سنويا من أجل مساعدة البلدان النامية على مواجهة الآثار الحتمية للمناخ وتنميتها اقتصاديا.
 
ودعا الأمين العام إلى الاستثمار في التنمية الصديقة للبيئة والمناخ، عوضا عن الوقود الأحفوري والقطاعات ذات الانبعاثات العالية، التي بلغ الاستثمار فيها العام الماضي حوالي 825 مليار دولار:
 
“علينا أن نكف عن الرهان على مستقبل غير مستدام سيعرض المدخرات والمجتمعات للخطر… إن الاستثمار في الهياكل الأساسية سيكتسي أهمية حاسمة. ينبغي على العالم أن يعتمد قاعدة بسيطة: إذا لم تكن مشاريع البنية التحتية الكبيرة صديقة للبيئة، فيجب ألا تعطى الضوء الأخضر، وإلا فإننا سنكون مقيدين بخيارات سيئة لعقود قادمة.”
 
ودعا الأمين العام إلى البناء على ما تم تحقيقه، من خلال تبني سياسات تساعد على خفض انبعاثات الكربون وقادرة على التكيف مع تغير المناخ، بما يضع العالم على الطريق الصحيح.
 
هذا وقد أعلن غوتيريش عن عقد قمة مناخية في أيلول / سبتمبر المقبل لتعبئة الجهود السياسية والاقتصادية على أعلى المستويات.
 
من جانبه، أكد رئيس الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة، ميروسلاف لايتشاك، على أهمية العمل معا، من خلال الشراكات لمواجهة هذا التهديد المشترك:
 
“إن التهديد المشترك لتغير المناخ يربطنا معا. وفقط من خلال اتحادنا معا يمكننا حله. لدينا مسؤوليات مشتركة ولكن متباينة بالنسبة لحالة كوكبنا، ولتحقيقها نحتاج إلى شراكات جريئة ومبتكرة، ينبغي أن تتجاوز الانقسامات التقليدية بين القطاعات والأحزاب والحكومات والمجتمعات.”
 
وتابع لايتشاك قائلا إن هذه الشراكات يجب أن تضع الناس دائما في صميم عملها، وخصوصا الأشد تضررا من آثار تغير المناخ الذين لا يجدون ممثلين عنهم على طاولات المفاوضات.

Yemen: Impact of the closure of seaports and airports on the humanitarian situation – Situation Update 1 | 11 November 2017

 

Highlights

• The Saudi-led coalition closed Yemen’s borders on 6 November.

• Humanitarian flights in and out of Yemen have been grounded for six days in a row.

• Critical humanitarian supplies cannot be transported to Yemen

• Humanitarian workers are unable to reach Yemen, while those inside Yemen who need to be rotated out cannot leave.

• Fuel prices haves increased by 60 per cent in Sana’a and trucked water by 133 per cent.

Situation Overview

On 6 November, the Saudi-led coalition (SLC) announced the ‘temporary’ closure of all of Yemen’s airports, seaports and land crossings stating that “the measures will be implemented while taking into consideration the continuation of the entry and exit of humanitarian supplies and crews in accordance with the Coalition’s updated procedures.” However, since the SLC’s announcement, no permits have been received for humanitarian flights to and from Yemen and for WFP’s VOS Apollo boat to Aden. A consignment of WHO medical supplies remains in Djibouti. In urban areas like Sana’a, fuel prices have sharply increased. Petrol has risen from 275 YER/liter to 335 YER/liter (an almost 22 per cent increase). Local bus fairs in Sana’a have doubled and in some cases tripled.

The UN and other humanitarian actors have all called for the borders to be re-opened and flights to be resumed, stressing that continued closure will sharply aggravate humanitarian crisis in Yemen and bring millions of people in Yemen closer to starvation and death.

Impact on food security

• WFP currently has 200,000 MT of stocks of food to assist six million people until early January. This includes 108,000 MT of cereals stored in the silos at Hudaydah and Saleef ports.

• In the coming month, WFP expects a total of 72,000 MT of mixed food commodities to arrive into Yemen, half of that through Hudaydah and Saleef. A protracted suspension or delay in the delivery of these commodities will affect six million vulnerable people who rely on assistance every month.

• Given the time it takes to deliver food from the ports to the people on the ground, WFP relies on the continuous flow of commodities into Yemen.

• The diversion of vessels from Hudaydah and Saleef ports to Aden is not a desirable option since the port of Aden lacks the absorption capacity required for both humanitarian and commercial shipments. As a result, transit time of humanitarian cargo to reach populations in need will increase by one to three weeks and additional transport costs in the range from US$30 U$70 per ton will be incurred.

• The total silo capacity of Aden port is 270,000 tons, which is not sufficient to store the monthly requirement for humanitarian and commercial supplies, ranging from 350,000 to 400,000 tons, thus potentially resulting in congestion at port and high demurrage costs.

• Transporting supplies from Aden and Jizan ports to northern governorates would entail crossing the front lines of the conflict. Transportation costs would be higher, resulting in higher commodities’ which in the end would be less affordable to the average Yemeni household.

تدهور الوضع الإنساني في اليمن ومخاوف من عواقب شح الوقود

طفل يبلغ من العمر عامين، يعيش مع والدته وشقيقته في أحد مخيمات النازحين في إب، باليمن – الصورة: OCHA Yemen

10 نوفمبر 2017

قالت الأمم المتحدة إن الإغلاق المفروض على اليمن أدى إلى تدهور الوضع الإنساني الصعب، في ظل التوقعات بنفاد إمدادات الوقود بنهاية الشهر الحالي.

المتحدثة باسم منظمة الصحة العالمية فضيلة الشايب حذرت من تناقص الإمدادات المتوفرة لدى المنظمة في اليمن. وقالت في مؤتمر صحفي في جنيف:

“لليوم الخامس على التوالي، تم تقويض عمليات منظمة الصحة العالمية بشدة نتيجة إغلاق جميع الموانئ البرية والبحرية والجوية. منظمة الصحة العالمية وغيرها من المنظمات الإنسانية تحتاج إلى الوصول الإنساني الفوري إلى اليمن. ومازالت البلاد تواجه أكبر تفش للكوليرا، وتهدد المجاعة 7 ملايين شخص من بينهم نحو مليوني طفل يعاني من سوء التغذية الحاد.”

وذكرت المتحدثة أن المنظمة منعت يوم الأربعاء من توصيل 250 طنا متريا من الإمدادات الطبية عبر البحر. وأوضحت أن سفينة الشحن لم تتمكن من مغادرة جيبوتي، كما كان مقررا، بسبب إغلاق ميناء الحديدة.

وكانت السفينة تحمل معدات جراحية وأجهزة تخدير وحضانات لحديثي الولادة وأقراص تنقية المياه وغيرها من الإمدادات الأساسية.

وأكد مسؤولو الأمم المتحدة أهمية فتح ميناء الحديدة، محذرين من عواقب شح الوقود على الوضع الإنساني في اليمن.

Yemen facing largest famine the world has seen for decades, warns UN aid chief

An internally displaced woman and her daughter look over the city of Sana’a, Yemen, from the roof of this dilapidated building they call their new home. Photo: Giles Clarke/UN OCHA

9 November 2017

Yemen will be gripped by famine – one the likes of which the world has not seen in years – if the blockade on basic supplies into the country imposed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition is not lifted immediately, the top United Nations humanitarian official has warned.

“It will be the largest famine the world has seen for many decades,” Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the media late Wednesday, after briefing the Security Council.

Three years into a brutal conflict, Yemen depends on imports – amounting to up to 90 per cent of its daily needs – and millions in the country are being kept alive by humanitarian aid.

The fighting has also all but collapsed the country’s health, and water and sanitation systems. Combined with the lack of food, millions of lives – including those of children – will be lost as their bodies will simply not have the strength to fight off disease.

“What kills people in famine is infections […] because their bodies have consumed themselves, reducing totally the ability to fight off things which a healthy person can,” added Mr. Lowcock.

Underscoring that an immediate resumption of regular UN and relief organizations’ air services to the capital, Sana’a, and Aden are critical to save lives, Mr. Lowcock, also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that a clear and immediate assurance is also urgently needed that those services will not be disrupted.

Furthermore, all vessels that have passed inspection by the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism should not be subjected to interference, delays to or blockages so that they can proceed to port as rapidly as possible, he added.

“This is really important because humanitarian access through the ports was inadequate even before the measures that were announced on 6 November,” said the senior UN official.

He also called for an immediate agreement to the prepositioning of the World Food Programme (WFP) – the UN’s emergency food relief agency – vessel in the waters off Aden, assurances that there will be no further disruption to the functions the vessel supports, as well as resumption of humanitarian and commercial access to all the seaports of Yemen.

At the stakeout, Mr. Lowcock, also underscored the Organization’s condemnation of the missile attack on the Saudi capital, Riyadh, over the weekend, terming it an outrageous act.

The coalition imposed the restrictions following the attack, effectively closing air, sea and land access to the war-torn country.

Vaccines will run out in a month – humanitarian group

Meanwhile, the humanitarian community in Yemen also warned that the current stock of vaccines in the country will only last one month and if not replenished, outbreaks of communicable diseases are to be expected with fatal consequences, particularly for children under five and those already suffering from malnutrition.

“The humanitarian situation in Yemen is extremely fragile and any disruption in the pipeline of critical supplies such as food, fuel and medicines has the potential to bring millions of people closer to starvation and death,” said humanitarian organizations, including the UN, working in Yemen in a joint statement Thursday.

“The continued closure of borders will only bring additional hardship and deprivation with deadly consequences to an entire population suffering from a conflict that it is not of their own making,” they added.

Calling for the immediate opening of all air and seaports to ensure the entry of food, fuel and medicines into the country, the humanitarian community ask the Saudi-led Coalition to facilitate unhindered access of aid workers to people in need, in compliance with international law, by ensuring the resumption of all humanitarian flights.

“We reiterate that humanitarian aid is not the solution to Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe. Only a peace process will halt the horrendous suffering of millions of innocent civilians,” they stressed.

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville

 7 November 2017 – Yemen

We are deeply concerned by a series of attacks in Yemen over the past week that have killed dozens of civilians — including several children — and we appeal to all parties to respect international law governing armed conflict.

Civilians must never be put in harm’s way during any conflict. International humanitarian law prohibits attacks against civilians and civilian objects, indiscriminate attacks, and it obliges all parties to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians and civilian objects.

On 1 November, two airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition hit the Al Layl market in the Olaaf area of Sahaar district in Saada governorate, killing 31 civilians, including six children, and wounding 24 others. The victims were Qat sellers and guests at the Al Layl hotel. We understand the coalition is investigating the incident.

The following day, 2 November, seven members of a farming family, including the farmer himself and three of his children, were killed in a coalition airstrike on their home in Al Islan area in Baqim district of Saada governorate. There was no known military objective in the area.

On the same day, in Taizz, five children were killed and two wounded as a result of shelling carried out by the Popular Committee affiliated with the Houthis and the army units loyal to former President Abdullah Saleh. Based on the accounts of the victims’ family, obtained by UN human rights monitors, the children were playing in the street of the residential neighbourhood when the rocket from a Houthi-controlled area fell on them.

On Saturday evening, 4 November, a missile was fired from Yemen towards the Saudi capital Riyadh. The missile was intercepted over the city and fragments reportedly landed in the airport area. Some media reports said the missile was targeting the airport. The international airport is prima facie a civilian facility, and as such, any attack against it is forbidden under international law.

Since Saturday’s missile launch, there have been at least another nine airstrikes on the Houthi-held city of Sana’a, including one that hit Celebration Square injuring three civilians. While the targets of the strikes are not clear, we are concerned that airstrikes in densely populated areas puts civilians and civilian objects, including infrastructure, at great risk.

We reiterate that parties to the conflict must take constant care to spare the civilian population.

We are also very concerned indeed that humanitarian aid destined for innocent civilians caught up in the three-year long conflict may be adversely affected by the coalition’s decision on Monday to close all land, air and sea ports into the country.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has said he will soon be appointing the members of the Group of Eminent Experts recently established by the Human Rights Council and mandated to carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights and international law committed by all parties to the conflict, and, where possible, to identify those responsible.

A UN Human Rights team from Headquarters recently visited Yemen to meet with the de-facto authorities in Sana’a and Government officials in Aden to reiterate the concerns raised by the High Commissioner in his recent report to the Human Rights Council and to prepare the ground for the Group of Eminent Experts.

The total number of civilian casualties since March 2015 stands at 14,168, including 5,295 people killed and 8,873 injured. These numbers are based on the casualties individually verified by our Yemen Office. The actual numbers are likely to be far higher.

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 /rcolville@ohchr.org) or Liz Throssell  ( +41 22 917 9466/ ethrossell@ohchr.org ) or Jeremy Laurence: + 41 22 917 9383 

Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie Mcgoldrick, on Continued Violence Affecting Civilians in Yemen

Sana’a, 5 November 2017

I am horrified at the continued violence perpetrated by all parties to the conflict in Yemen which again, this week, claimed the lives of innocent civilians, including thirteen children.

On 1 November, 31 people, including six children, were killed and 26 others were wounded by an air strike that struck a busy night market in Sahar district in Sa’ada governorate. Field reports indicate that on 3 November another air strike hit a house in Baqim district in Sa’ada governorate, killing a whole family of seven people, including two children and two women.

I am equally horrified by the continued indiscriminate shelling occurring in Taizz city. On 2 November, shelling in a residential area in Al Onsowa neighborhood in Taizz city killed five children and injured two others. All the children killed or injured were between seven and 15 years old.

These latest events are unfortunately part of the tragic pattern of the disregard that the parties to the conflict continue to show for the laws of war and their obligations and responsibilities to protect civilians’ lives. All parties to this brutal conflict must act in the interest of the people of Yemen and in line with international humanitarian law.

I repeat the wide array of calls by the international community to all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations and responsibilities under international humanitarian law. In particular, I ask them to adhere to the principles of distinction between civilians and combatants and proportionality in the conduct of hostilities and refrain from directing attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. I also reiterate my calls on States who have influence over the parties to step up their engagement to bring about a political solution to the crisis.

We must all do whatever we can to bring the horrendous suffering of the people of Yemen to an end as soon as possible.

Shara’a Al-Siteen, Opposite Awqaf Housing Complex, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen P.O. Box: 551, Telephone : (967-1) 448605/6 UNDP YE, Fax : (967-1) 448841

Suspected cholera cases in crisis-torn Yemen near 900,000 – UN

2 November 2017

Already struggling to cope with a dire humanitarian crisis, war-torn Yemen is now facing the fastest-growing cholera epidemic ever recorded, with some 895,000 suspected cases as of 1 November, the United Nations relief wing reported Thursday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that nearly have the suspected cases are children. Overall, there have been nearly 2,200 associated deaths since 27 April.

The outbreak is affecting over 90 per cent of districts across 21 of the country’s 22 governorates. Despite the enormous challenges, humanitarian partners have established 234 Diarrhoea Treatment Centres and 1,084 Oral Rehydration Corners in 225 affected districts in 20 governorates, according to OCHA.

Some 3.6 million people have been connected to disinfected water supply networks in 12 governorates. Over 17 million people in all governorates were reached with cholera prevention messages.

OCHA warned today that Yemen is also facing the world’s largest food emergency and widespread population displacement. After more than two years of war, nearly 21 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance, seven million of whom are severely food insecure, staving off the threat of famine.

Despite challenging conditions and limited funding, the UN and its humanitarian partners provided direct assistance to more than seven million people this year.

“The humanitarian response to the world’s worst hunger crisis and its worst cholera outbreak must be fully resourced”, said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock during his recent mission to Yemen. “With only two months left in the year, the UN Humanitarian Response Plan is only 56 per cent funded. I know that we can do more.”

Against that background, he called on donors to step up their support to the Response Plan to ensure the most effective and coordinated response across the country.

“Across the country, and on both sides of the frontline, Yemenis are being kept alive by brave humanitarian aid workers, working under extremely difficult conditions,” said Mr. Lowcock, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, stressing that while relief workers “are able to be effective because we remain impartial, neutral and independent […] we need to do more – and we need more support.”

The Secretary-General — Message on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

2 November 2017

In just the past few weeks, a renowned investigative journalist was murdered by a bomb that booby-trapped her car; another was dismembered in the course of researching her story; and a photojournalist was found dead after being forced to leave his home at gunpoint.

From 2006 to 2016, 930 journalists and media workers were killed.  Thousands of others routinely face sexual harassment, intimidation, detention and ill treatment.

Rampant impunity then compounds the crimes.  In nine out of ten cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice.

When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole also pay the price.  The kind of news that gets silenced – corruption, conflicts of interest, illegal trafficking — is exactly the kind of information the public needs to know.

The United Nations General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council have all condemned attacks against journalists and called for ensuring their safety.

The United Nations system has also endorsed a Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

We are committed to helping to create the environment journalists need to perform their vital work.  I am mobilizing a network of focal points from throughout the UN system to propose specific steps to intensify our efforts to enhance the safety of journalists and media workers.

On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, I call for justice — in memory of all journalists who have been killed, and in recognition of the importance of free and independent media in advancing development and peace.