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250,000 people ‘may lose everything – even their lives’ in assault on key Yemeni port city: UN humanitarian coordinator

8 June 2018 – Humanitarian Aid

Any attack on the key port city of Hodeidah in Yemen “will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians” and would entail around 250,000 civilians losing everything – “even their lives” – the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the war-torn country said on Friday.

Lise Grande’s statement comes amid ongoing fighting in the Arabian peninsula State, where 22 million people are in need of aid and protection; three-quarters of the entire population.

Around 8.4 million of this number are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

OCHA has warned repeatedly of the risks to ordinary Yemenis of being caught up in crossfire, since a military campaign intensified, involving a Saudi-backed international coalition and Houthi opposition forces which escalated in March 2015.

Since then, according to the UN human rights office, OHCHR, 6,439 civilians have been killed and more than 10,000 have been injured.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva on behalf of Ms Grande, Jens Laerke said that in a “prolonged worst case (scenario), we fear that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything – even their lives”.

In response to the threat of military attack, humanitarian agencies had developed “contingency plans”, he added.

The country’s already weak infrastructure has also suffered tremendous damage, including to massive portside cranes in Hodeidah; a city which is “the single most important point of entry for food and basic supplies” for the whole country, Laerke told reporters.

Close to 70 per cent of Yemen’s imports, including commercial and humanitarian goods, enter through Hodeidah and Saleef to the north.

As many as 600,000 people live in and around Hodeidah, Mr Laerke continued, before repeating the UN Humanitarian Coordinator’s comments that the Red Sea port city needed to stay open to prevent famine and “a recurrence of the cholera epidemic”, that began in October 2016.

By the end of January 2018, the number of suspected cases had risen to more than one million, according to the World Health Organization(WHO).

In addition to concerns for civilians around Hodeidah, needs in Yemen remain massive, said Laerke who described ongoing emergency as “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world”.

“Across the country, people are desperate for food, medical help and protection,” he explained. “This is why humanitarian organizations have dramatically ramped up the amount of assistance we are providing.”

The Deputy Secretary-General — Remarks at High-level Panel on Transformational Energy Access in LDCs

Geneva, 6 June 2018

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to be with you to discuss the all-important issue of transforming energy access in the Least Developed Countries.

Let me start by commending the Board and the Secretariat for aligning the work of UNCTAD with the 2030 Agenda and Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Forum in April and the 2018 report of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development benefited fromUNCTAD’s new inter-governmental expert groups.

I look forward to the next session of the intergovernmental group of experts on financing for development, which will focus on debt.

In September the Secretary-General will host a High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda and accelerating the implementation of the SDGs.

UNCTAD’s contributions will be valuable. We look forward to their participation in the preparation of the High Level Meeting.

One priority is accelerating the achievement of SDG7 on affordable and clean energy for all.

This is also a major contribution to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy sector.

In September next year, the Secretary-General will convene a Climate Change Summit in New York to increase climate action and ambition.

Advancing the energy transition will be one of the Summit’s transformative areas.

It is the golden thread that links most of the SDGs.

In particular, it is a key to leaving no one behind.

Universal access to modern energy is a catalyst of inclusivity.

It improves livelihoods and social mobility, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

It benefits health by reducing risks from outdoor and household air pollution, and aids access to clean water and refrigeration.

It powers improved medical facilities, especially in rural areas, enabling the safe storage of medicines and vaccines.

It also raises incentives for doctors to work and settle in rural areas.

Reaching SDG7 therefore contributes to SDG3 on good health and well-being.

Access to modern energy services can also enhance the quality of education.

In sub-Saharan Africa, some 90 per cent of children attend primary schools that lack electricity and thus electric lights, refrigerators, fans, computers and printers.

Energy is thus an enabler of SDG4 on universal quality education.

The production of energy and access to modern energy also has important gender dimensions.

The traditional gender division of labour within households, especially in rural areas of the Least Developed Countries, typically means women are overburdened with household and unpaid work, including fetching water, gathering firewood, and preparing food.

The availability of modern energy, at both household and community level, can significantly reduce time spent on these activities and contribute to achieving SDG5 on gender equality.

So, we see how SDG7 links so much of the 2030 Agenda.

In addition to social benefits, SDG7 is also at the core of the economic SDGs, namely Goals 8, 9 and 10, helping to increase productivity, enable production and innovation, and reduce inequality.

Rapid technological progress in renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar, has brought costs down.

It is opening up unprecedented opportunity for the electrification of rural areas through decentralized generation and mini-grids as well as utility-scale renewables.

This will accelerate rural development.

And, by enhancing agricultural productivity and food security, it will lead to SDG2 on ending hunger.

So, ladies and gentlemen, it is clear just how important SDG7 is.

But today, progress on the SDG7 targets is still falling short — universal access to electricity; clean fuels and technologies for cooking, a doubling of the rate of improvement of energy efficiency; and a substantial increase in the share of renewables in the global energy mix.

Providing the required finance for SDG7, as well as transferring the requisite technology, is a huge undertaking.

It requires both the right national policies and stronger international support.

Achieving universal access to modern energy in LDCs by 2030 will be costly.

It will require investments between $12 and $40 billion dollars a year.

This far exceeds currently available resources.

Total official development assistance to the energy sector is just $3 billion dollars a year, domestic resources for public investment are scarce in most LDCs, and most also face serious limits to borrowing without risking an unsustainable debt burden.

And private investors show little enthusiasm for supporting electricity infrastructure in LDCs.

Massive investments are needed both from the public and private sector.

To that end, the President of the General Assembly is organizing an event on 11 June in New York, in cooperation with UN entities such as UNCTAD, on sustainable finance.

It should advance our knowledge about how best to finance massive deployment of basic services such as energy access.

I am also coordinating with UNCTAD and other entities a High-Level event during the General Assembly to improve our knowledge of how best to finance the SDGs in all countries.

Because energy technologies, and particularly renewable technologies, are constantly evolving, it is critical that LDCs gain access to the technologies suited to their particular conditions and circumstances, and that they strengthen the capacity of their energy sectors to absorb such technologies.

While expanding international trade and investment has helped, effective technology transfer that enables countries to leapfrog to sustainable energy is necessary.

This requires the acquisition of relevant knowledge and capabilities, both by actors in the energy supply chain and by end users.

However, international technology-transfer mechanisms have an inadequate track record in this regard.

The international community needs to promote better Science Technology and Innovation policy cooperation and encourage maximum use of existing mechanisms for technology transfer, such as those contained in the WTO TRIPs Agreement, the UNFCCC and the LDC Technology Bank.

South-South and triangular cooperation must also play a leading role.

Excellencies,

To be strong partners of countries as they deliver the 2030 Agenda – across all SDGs – the United Nations too must change. No single entity is large enough – or has all the necessary skillsets – to deliver on the world’s expectations.

But together, the United Nations development system offers unapparelled expertise and global reach.

Together, we can also help countries leverage financing and partnerships at a scale we have never reached before.

To do that, we must become more than the sum of our parts.

This is precisely what the reform process launched by the Secretary-General in assuming his functions.

On 31 May, we crossed a critical milestone in this process, with the United Nations General Assembly issuing a landmark resolution that will allow us to move forward.

The resolution endorses the creation of a more robust UN coordination system, with – at its centre – a Resident Coordinator system that will be independent from any individual entity. But that will be linked to all entities, funds, programmes, specialized and non-resident entities.

Its strengths will come from the system and its diversity. We foresee a coordination system that is less focused on processes, and more on ensuring stronger response to country needs, drawing on the capacities, expertise and skill sets of all entities, at all levels.

We will be able to more easily expand the reach of an entity like UNCTAD as part of the UN development system’s family on the ground, and do so in a more flexible,efficient and effective manner than before.

Particularly, the adopted proposals for a revised UNDAF process and a new generation of UN country teams are indeed meant to better tap into the resources of the entire system and foster greater enhanced substantive collaboration among UN entities.

This reform is not about how individual agencies perform. It is about what we can, and must, do together to better service countries and people in their road towards the SDGs.

In the coming months, the Secretary-General and I will be working closely with all entities of the UN development system to ensure that we are ready to transition to a new Resident Coordinator system – and a new generation of UN Country Teams – by January 2019.

We welcome your inputs moving forward. Reforming the UN development system is our joint endeavour.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen,

Universal access to modern energy is essential to the 2030 Agenda and its core pledge of “leaving no one behind”.

International action to accelerate progress towards SDG7 is gathering speed and new partnerships to accelerate progress towards this goal are being set up.

A major impulse should be provided by the next High Level Political Forum, next month in New York.

I trust that the special needs and conditions of the LDCs will be acknowledged and acted on by the international community.

Thank you.

المبعوث الأممي الى اليمن يغادر صنعاء ويجدد عزمه على دفع عجلة عملية السلام

مطار صنعاء الدولي 5 حزيران/ يونيو 2018

إنه لمن دواعي سروري ان أزور صنعاء من جديد حيث قمت خلال زيارتي بعقد إجتماعات مثمرة وإيجابية مع قيادات أنصار الله والمؤتمر الشعبي العام، تمحورت حول رؤيتي لعملية السلام والتي سوف أقوم بمناقشتها في مجلس الأمن خلال الشهر الجاري. أود ان اعرب عن تفاؤلي تجاه ردود الفعل الإيجابية التي حظيت بها خلال هذه الزيارة وفي اجتماعاتي مع الحكومة اليمنية والأطراف الإقليمية في الأسابيع الماضية. أجدد عزمي على دفع عجلة عملية السلام الى الأمام لأن كل يوم يمر يزداد فيه عدد الضحايا من اليمنيين الأبرياء. هنالك الكثير من القضايا التي يجب التطرق اليها بشكل طارئ ومنها الوضع الإنساني وإستمرار إغلاق مطار صنعاء أمام الرحلات التجارية. أدعو الأطراف للعمل الجاد لإعادة فتح المطار امام الملاحة الجوية التجارية . لقد إستمعت الى وجهات نظر العديد من الخبراء وقد اعربوا عن قلقهم البالغ من أي هجوم على مدينة الحديدة ومن التبعات الإنسانية الخطيرة والتي يمكن تفاديها. كما اني أخشى تأثير هجوم كهذا على العملية السياسية . نحن نعمل بجد من اجل تحريك مسار العملية السياسية كما نهدف الى إعادة إحياء المفاوضات في القريب العاجل. لذلك أدعو الأطراف اليمنية الى خلق مناخ ملائم لاستئناف العملية السياسية والحد من العنف. سوف أناقش ما ذكرتة مع مجلس الأمن في إحاطتي له بعد إسبوعين.

UN ENVOY FOR YEMEN LEAVES SANA’A DETERMINED TO ADVANCE THE PEACE PROCESS

Sana’a International Airport, 5 June 2018

I am pleased to have visited Sana’a again. I had very productive meetings with senior leaders of Ansarallah and the General People’s Congress on my vision for the peace process which I will discuss with the Security Council later this month. I am encouraged by the reactions I received during this trip and during my meetings with the Government of Yemen and regional players over the last few weeks.

I am determined to advance the peace process because every day that goes by innocent Yemenis die. There are many urgent issues in Yemen that must be addressed, including the humanitarian situation and the continued closure of Sana’a airport to commercial flights. I urge the parties to work towards opening the airport to commercial traffic.

I have heard from many experts of their grave anxiety about an attack on Hodaidah and the significant and avoidable humanitarian consequences that would ensue. I am also concerned about the impact of such an attack on the political process.

We are working hard to get moving on the political process and aim to restart negotiations in the near future. In this regard I urge the Yemeni parties to create a conducive environment to restart the political process and de-escalate violence. I will discuss this with the security council when I brief them in two weeks.

UN Migration Agency Completes Movement of 233 Ethiopian Migrants Out of Yemen

5 June 2018
Themes: Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, Humanitarian Emergencies

 

Hudaydah – An IOM chartered sea vessel arrived early this morning (05/06) in Djibouti carrying 132 Ethiopian migrants bringing the total migrants evacuated since last week to 233.  The IOM vessel departed the port city of Hudaydah which has been experiencing violent clashes over the past week, making the logisitics of the movements extremely difficult. The IOM vessel was held for inspection by the parties controlling the sea movements for several hours.

IOM in Djibouti is currently receiving the migrants at the IOM reception centre and providing humanitarian assistance, medical support as well as looking at options for onward transportation to Ethiopia. IOM is working closely with both Ethiopian and Djibouti Governments to provide maximum support to the migrants.

The boat left with 132 passengers, 86 Ethiopian males, eight boys, 36 female and two girls. The majority of the migrants were held in a Sana’a holding facility, while some had been staying with host families supported by IOM.

Migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia attempt to travel through Yemen to reach the Gulf, in particular the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both while travelling to and in Yemen, migrants are abused by smugglers and other criminals, including physical and sexual abuse, torture for ransom, arbitrary detention for long periods of time, forced labour and even death. Some migrants get caught up in the conflict, sustaining injuries or dying from shelling, and some are taken to detention centres, both official and unofficial.

Through its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme, IOM is providing transportation and return support from Yemen to the migrants’ final destinations in their home countries. In Yemen, IOM provides additional humanitarian assistance to migrants, including health care, shelter and aid items and psychosocial support, while also supporting displaced and conflict affected Yemenis. In Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, IOM also provides emergency support to migrants starting out their journeys, while in transit and when returning.

This return movement from Yemen is funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the Government of Germany and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fund.

For more information, please contact Saba Malme in IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, 

Email: smalme@iom.int

Mekunu intensifies in Arabian Sea

23 May 2018 – WMO

Very severe Cyclonic Storm Mekunu has formed in the Arabian Sea and is intensifiying on a path towards Oman and Yemen, It follows less than a week after cyclone Sagar,  which caused flash floods and casualties in Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti. Meteorological services are issuing regular warnings in an effort to keep loss of life and property to a minimum.

WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre(RSMC) New Delhi, operated by the India Meteorological Department, forecasts that Mekunu will intensify further as it moves north-northwestwards. It is expected to cross the South Oman and Southeast Yemen coasts and make landfall near the port town of Salalah (Oman) on 26 May as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 150-160 kilometers per hour gusting to 180 km/h. This is the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale.

On 23 May, On 23 May, warnings in Yemen were upgraded to a maximum Red Alert.  Oman’s Directorate-General of Meteorology and its National Multi-Hazard Early Warning System is issuing regular updates about weather conditions and hazards at sea.

In addition to the high winds, the main hazards from Mekunu will be the heavy precipitation and flash flooding. Some forecasts predict that months worth of rain will fall in a matter of hours.

Above average Southwest Arabian sea surface temperatures of 29-31° Celsius are conducive to the development and intensification of tropical cyclones.

Cyclones striking the Arabian Peninsula are rare but not exceptional.

In May 2007, Super Cyclonic Storm Gunu killed 50 people and caused about US$4.2 billion in damage in Oman. It dropped as much as 610 mm of rain near the eastern coastline, causing flooding and heavy damage. In June 2010 Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phet moved across eastern Oman, causing floods, wrecking homes  and causing casualties.

Yemen was hit by extremely severe cyclonic storm Chapala (the equivalent of a category 4) in November 2015.  Thanks to evacuations ahead of the storm, the casualty toll was reported at just 8, but economic and structural damages were severe.  Extremely severe cyclonic storm Megh hit the Yemeni island of Socotra just days after Chapala.

Yemen is especially vulnerable to the impacts of Mekunu, which comes hard on the heels of Sagar.  Djibouti and northern Somalia bore the brunt of the impacts of Sagar, which destroyed homes and washed away property and livestock and reportedly claimed about 20 lives.

The Deputy Secretary-General — Remarks at Special Meeting of Economic and Social Council “Towards Sustainable, Resilient and Inclusive Societies through Participation of All”

New York, 23 May 2018

Your Excellency, Ambassador Marie Chatardová, President of the Economic and Social Council,
Excellencies and distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be with you this morning.

Today’s meeting speaks to the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and I would like to thank Ambassador Chatardová for convening it.

The 2030 Agenda is an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people.

And it is an Agenda to be achieved with the people.

The success of our collective journey to 2030 will greatly depend on how we involve Government, parliaments, local authorities, indigenous peoples, civil society, the scientific and academic community and the private sector. It is therefore our collective responsibility.

In short, the transformation promised will only be achieved by engaging all actors right across society.

In February, I had the privilege of taking part in the preparatory sessions in Prague for today’s Special Meeting.

I left those discussions more convinced than ever as to the importance of participation, consultation and engagement in advancing our collective goals.

We heard how effective public participation can help inform better laws, policies and government programming; better fight corruption and better foster accountability.

We heard how open, inclusive and constructive engagement between sub-national authorities, businesses and civil society groups can give rise to solutions that otherwise would simply not be possible.

And we also heard how deliberative decision-making is an essential element in preserving social cohesion.

As intolerance, marginalization and xenophobia grow in some countries, we must redouble our efforts to engage and listen to the full spectrum of views in society.

The Prague meeting, and an honest assessment of our world today, also show that, often, we put barriers in place that hinder effective participation and we exclude people – especially the most vulnerable among us – from taking part in processes that affect their daily lives.

This must end.

Inclusive sustainable development, rooted in respect for and protection of human rights, is paramount.

It is the foundation for universal prosperity and well-being.

It is our best defence against violent conflict which so rapidly and dramatically erodes development gains.

As you conduct your discussions today, I encourage you to be mindful of five core areas that demand greater attention.

The first relates to the need to foster, in line with SDG 16, an enabling environment for participation – one that supports tolerance towards differing views and public participation in its many forms.

We need responsible leadership, legal frameworks that adhere to human rights standards and greater investment in transparent and accountable institutions.

The second relates to the participation of women.

Over the past year, in particular, we have seen women’s movements exert their influence as powerful agents of change.

We must go further and ensure that women and girls are centrally involved in all our efforts, especially at the country level, to realize the SDGs.

The third area relates to the contribution of young people.

In Prague and elsewhere, I have been able to hear from young people who are incredibly motivated about SDG implementation, who are impatient with those who impede change.

We cannot achieve the change we need at the speed and scale we need without their engagement, their ideas and their leadership.

The fourth area relates to viewing climate action not only as central to our achievement of Agenda 2030, but also as a catalyst of greater participation. Climate action can unlock vast potential economic growth in all regions and for all people. Investing in the green economy, resilience and technology can create jobs and improve disaster risk reduction for the most vulnerable.

The final area relates to processes around SDG implementation.

From the preparation of national implementation plans to reviews conducted in line with the High Level Political Forum, it is essential that these be open and inclusive, that they help expand learning and understanding around the SDGs and that they hear, very clearly, the views of the most vulnerable.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, the 2030 Agenda needs the participation of all actors to ensure no one is left behind and that all can enjoy prosperity, dignity and opportunity in a world of peace.

Let us therefore join our efforts for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.

I wish you a very productive meeting.

Thank you.

The Secretary-General — Remarks at High-level Debate Marking 15th Anniversary of Adoption of United Nations Convention Against Corruption

New York, 23 May 2018

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be with all you to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

As Member States and partners, our common objectives include preventing violent conflict, building peace and security, protecting human rights and charting a path to sustainable development.

If we are to make progress towards these priorities we need a solid foundation of trust and accountability.

As the President of the General Assembly just said, Sustainable Development Goal 16 calls for reducing corruption and bribery, strengthening the recovery and return of stolen assets and developing effective, inclusive and transparent institutions.

This is a global appeal for fairness, a collective demand for justice.

This event today is a timely opportunity to reflect on how the international community can make good on these commitments.

Corruption affects developed and developing countries alike, and complicity knows no borders.

Those who can least afford corruption suffer the most.

It cripples economic development, stifles entrepreneurship and deters investment.

Society cannot function equitably and efficiently when public officials – from doctors to police, judges and politicians – enrich themselves rather than perform their duties with integrity.

Corruption robs funds from schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other vital services.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling, illicit financial flows and illegal trade in natural resources, weapons, drugs and cultural heritage are all made possible because of corruption.

It fuels conflict, and when a hard-won peace is achieved, corruption undermines recovery.

Corruption and impunity are corrosive, breeding frustration and fostering further corruption when people see no other way of achieving their goals.

A sense of desperation before the real and perceived lack of opportunities also fuels the large movements of people seeking better prospects.

And the lack of opportunities for young women and men, often exacerbated in corrupt societies, can feed into the cynical narratives of terrorists and violent extremists.

The answer is to root out and eradicate corruption at all levels and restore trust where it has been lost.

The role of the United Nations is crucial.

There are several ways the Organization can support Member States to combat corruption, from sharing good practices to supporting the capacity of national anti-corruption institutions.

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala is a case in point.

Excellencies,

The UN Convention Against Corruption represents the fundamental recognition that corruption is neither an acceptable cost of doing business nor a necessary evil.

It is a serious crime, and simply unacceptable.

Since its adoption, the Convention has achieved near-global acceptance with 184 Parties.

For 15 years, it has served as an international framework for cooperation to strengthen prevention and mitigate corruption risks.

It helps disrupt money laundering and stop the illicit outflow of funds.

It contributes to the return of stolen proceeds from foreign banks.

And it enrols in civil society and the private sector as essential partners.

Full implementation is needed to put an end to the threat that corruption poses to development.

To achieve this, Member States have come together to review each other’s efforts.

Such responses are critical to provide fair opportunities and facilitate investment, tackle transnational organized crime, prevent the unfair influence of powerful interests on governance and safeguard civil and human rights.

Yet, we will not achieve a lasting impact without the full engagement and support of the business and financial communities.

And we need civil society, a free press, and young people, to continue doing their valuable work in bringing to light corrupt practices and holding individuals, businesses and governments to account.

Ladies and gentlemen,

On this 15th anniversary, I urge you to use the Convention as a platform to mobilize political and popular support for the fight against corruption.

It is the world’s most agile instrument in the hands of the international community to achieve our common goals of good governance, stability and prosperity.

African countries have taken a leading role in moving this agenda forward in the last AU Summit and with measures as for example through anti-money laundering efforts in Nigeria and Tunisia, which have seen funds returned.

If governments are serious about doing the best for their citizens, then pledges to promote integrity and clamp down on corruption must be more than campaign promises and words on paper.

Millions will go to the polls this year with corruption high on their agenda.

I make an urgent call to our global leadership to take a moral stand and install a culture of integrity from the top down.

It all begins with setting an example.

By tackling corruption, governments can show they mean business.

We must all do more.

The United Nations will continue to support Member States every step of the way, from helping to engage and empower citizens in this fight, to helping build and enhance institutions that can deliver on their promise.

Thank you.

Fighting the world’s largest cholera outbreak: oral cholera vaccination campaign begins in Yemen

WHO – Aden, 10 May 2018

The first-ever oral cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen was launched on 6 May and concludes on 15 May, just before the start of Ramadan. The campaign aims to prevent the resurgence of the world’s largest cholera outbreak. The volatile mix of conflict, a deteriorating economic situation, and little or no access to clean drinking-water and sanitation have resulted in more than one million suspected cholera cases since the outbreak began in April 2017.

A race against time

This campaign is part of a broader cholera integrated response plan, implemented by national health authorities, WHO and UNICEF. Outbreak response activities include surveillance and case detection, community engagement and awareness, enhancing laboratory testing capacity, improving water and sanitation, and training and deploying rapid response teams to affected areas.

This epidemic has affected the entire country, and the implementation of this oral cholera vaccination campaign, as part of the entire response to cholera, marks a milestone in the combined efforts of WHO and UNICEF, in partnership with the World Bank and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, through the generous support of our donors. “The ongoing conflict, lack of access to safe drinking-water, weak sewage systems due to lack of fuel for pumps and the collapsing health system is the perfect mix for a new explosion of cholera during Yemen’s rainy season, which is already in its beginning stages,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen.

“Hot” districts prioritized to prevent spread

On 24 April, UNICEF delivered the first batch of 455 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine from the Gavi-funded global stockpile, targeting people over the age of 1 year, including pregnant women. The Global Task Force for Cholera Control approved the request of more than 4.6 million doses of the vaccine from the global stockpile to target cholera hotspots across the country.

“This vaccination campaign comes at such a critical time. Children in Yemen were the worst hit by last year’s outbreak and remain the most vulnerable due to widespread malnutrition and deteriorating sanitation and hygiene,” said Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

Recent reports revealed that in the first 3 days of the campaign, more than 124 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine were administered. This represents 35% of the estimated target population in the 4 districts where the campaign began. A fifth district, will be included in the coming days, bringing the total target population to 470 905 individuals. The campaign currently involves 11 fixed teams and 328 mobile teams.

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For more information please contact:

Bismarck Swangin
UNICEF Yemen
Email bswangin@unicef.org
Phone 00967 712 223 161

Christine Tiffany Cool
WHO Yemen
Email coolc@who.int
Phone 00967 739 888 959

Sadeq Al-Wesabi
WHO Yemen
Email hasansa@who.int
Phone 00967 733 096 603

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Yemen

New York, 9 May 2018

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the recent and sharp escalation in the Yemen conflict, namely the Coalition airstrikes on 7 May that hit a Government building in the Tahrir district, a densely-populated area of Sana’a City, and the firing of ballistic missiles by the Houthis on 6 and 9 May toward different targets in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh. 

 

The Secretary-General reminds all parties to the conflict that they must uphold international humanitarian law, including taking steps to protect civilians. All potential violations of international humanitarian law should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible for violations must be held accountable.

 

The Secretary-General appeals to the parties to refrain from further escalation as this adversely impacts the chances for peace. He reminds the parties that a negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only way to end the conflict and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

 

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General