SPECIAL ENVOY’S OPENING REMARKS AT PEACE CONSULTATIONS FOR YEMEN

Sweden, 6 December 2018 – 

Thank you very much. Thank you very much indeed. And thank you through Your Excellency and the Foreign Minister of Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, thank you to your government, for your hosting, for your welcome, as you say a very warm welcome in a slightly less warm country, and so thank you for having us here in this remarkable location. I’m very grateful to you for doing this, to want to, and this efforts to make this happen. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

I would like also to extend my gratitude to the delegations. You’re here, it’s not easy, it’s been more than two years since you have sat down together, and we’re very well aware that there are many difficult decisions taken even to be here and of course there’ll be challenges in the days ahead, but we’re very grateful to you for your travel and for your presence.

And I’d also like to thank the Saudi-led coalition, the Sultanate of Oman, and the Government of Kuwait for their support in making this happen, in getting us here. Many many governments played a large part in making this morning take place, and I’m very grateful to them and I know the Secretary-General of the United Nations is equally so.

Today marks, we hope, the resumption of a political process. After two and a half years, without a formal political process, the convening of the two delegations here is an important milestone. It demonstrates to the international community here represented and to whom we speak to each other, and most importantly to the people of Yemen that are ready to come together in the name of a peaceful political solution to the conflict. I have received numerous statements of support for these consultations from your respective leaderships and I’m very grateful to them for that. Moreover, during the past weeks, both parties, both parties have issued calls for reduction of violence, for a de-scalation to use that word, of military operations, which is of course important as a backdrop to the talks that we will be having here to the consultations will be having here. Such a reduction on violence and restraint on the battlefield has a significant impact on the lives of Yemenis, but it’s also a signal to the people of Yemen that we are here with serious intent to pursue a political solution.

Today, I’m also pleased to announce the signing of an agreement on the exchange of prisoners, detainees, the missing, the forcibly detained and individuals placed under house arrest. This is a huge tribute to those here present, and of enormous importance to the many many thousands of families who seek the return to them of those currently lost to them. It will allow thousands of families to be reunited and it is a product of very effective active work from both delegations, and I’m very grateful.

What we will do here, and in the coming weeks, is to work on the implementation of that agreement, to make it happen. But it’s a good sign and I think it’s an important sign. The bar for success here, however, is higher than this. And as the people of Yemen know, much better than me the desperate situation that they face in Yemen on a daily-basis includes the prospect of famine, includes the continuing degradation of the economy health care and education across all aspects of their lives, humanitarian agencies have raised and the minister reminded us, the alarm regarding the terrible conditions for the country’s children. Thousands have died as a direct consequence of the fighting, and many tons of thousands more have died from malnutrition. So the political process, the talks that we will have offers an alternative to the narrative of conflict, and it begins here. And we seek to turn back the path from those problems and terror, and difficulties of life towards peace.

Here in the coming days, we will have a critical opportunity to give momentum to the peace process to move towards a comprehensive agreement based on the three references, the GCC initiative and its implementation, the Outcomes of the National Dialogue, and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including 2216. In the coming days, you will have the opportunity, people here present, to discuss and make serious progress, I hope, on a framework for negotiations that sets the parameters for the peace agreement and the resumption of the political transition.

Based on my consultations with the parties and many other experienced and knowledgeable Yemenis, I believe that we can also here, in the coming days, find solutions on specific issues that will improve cooperation and reduce suffering. I have referred to the agreement on prisoners, but we will be hoping to talk about economic issues, about the reduction of violence in many different parts of the country Hudaydah and elsewhere. We will be talking about the issue of Sana’a airport and other measures like that, and we will have the opportunity to discuss the issues of humanitarian access and how the humanitarian programs can be more effective.

All of these issues would never be solved without listening to numerous numerous Yemeni voices, so in addition to the members of the delegations, I will personally benefit from the expertise and experience of an advisory group comprising eight leading Yemeni women with a variety of professional and technical backgrounds, and they will advise me on the issues addressed during these consultations. In addition, I have invited several Yemenis with experience in political issues to help advise me too, and I believe they will be a great support. Already they are telling me how to move forward and what to do and what not to do.

The international community, and we will have their representatives here with us in a minute, are fully supportive of the peace process. It’s a remarkable asset for Yemen. The Security Council is united. The international community is focused on us. The presence of the media representatives here is a testament to that. Representatives of the group of nineteen ambassadors with accreditation to Yemen are here, they traveled to Sweden, they will join us shortly, and I will continue to be, as you will, in close contact with them, during the course of these consultations. They repeatedly called for an end to the war, but what we’re calling for is a resolution to the conflict, a resolution to the issues that led to this war.

Finally, as you said minister, let us be in no doubt that Yemen’s future is in the hands of those of us in this room. The country’s institutions are at risk, the fragmentation of the country is an enormous concern, and we must act now before we lose control of the future of Yemen. You have all expressed your commitment to a political solution. The coming days are milestone, it’s an important, it’s a significant event, don’t waiver, let us none of us waiver, in spite of the challenges that we may face. Let us work with good will, good faith and with energy and commitment and conviction, and I’m sure we will deliver a message of peace for the people in Yemen.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

 

MARTIN GRIFFITHS TO N.Y TIMES: RENEWED HOPE FOR PEACE IN YEMEN

6 December 2018

Representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthi movement are sitting down to talk in Sweden and offering us hope for restarting the peace process in their country.

By Martin Griffiths

Dec. 6, 2018 – The people of Yemen have had enough. More than three years of war have killed thousands, displaced more than 500,000, created the worst cholera epidemic and brought about 14 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation.

Desperate to escape famine, to be reunited with their loved ones, to mourn the dead, to save the future of their children, Yemenis are picking through the scattered signs of hope that this conflict might end.

On Thursday, for the first time in two years, the government of Yemen will sit down with Ansar Allah, who are commonly referred to as the Houthis, in Sweden. It took many false starts and missed opportunities before the opposing sides agreed to come together and offered us a glimmer of hope to restart a peace process in Yemen. It is an important beginning to see warring parties sit together and talk — a conversation that requires both sides to suspend their belief in the possibility of a military victory.

Over the past eight months, in my capacity as the United Nations mediator in this conflict, I have repeatedly warned that it is war that takes peace off the table. Peace has stronger prospects today, and it is time to push forward initiatives to put out the flames of the fighting.

The Red Sea port of Al Hudaydah, and the so-named city, has been a major flash point in this war. Since June, the population of the city has dwindled to 150,000, during months of severe fighting. Every month the U.N. food program provides aid to eight million people, but my colleagues are bracing for the threat of famine as many more millions of Yemenis cannot afford to buy food even where it is available.

I believe that this week’s meeting in Sweden can bring good news for Al Hudaydah, and for the people of Yemen. We have been working to reach a negotiated agreement to spare both the city and port the threat of destruction, and guarantee the full operation of the port. Reaching such a deal will not only put an end to the battles but also save the main humanitarian pipeline for the people of Yemen from being obstructed or destroyed. This will help ensure that the looming specter of famine is chased away.

Over the past weeks, both parties have showed their willingness to make significant humanitarian gestures. Some of the prisoners of war from both parties, who have not been allowed to contact their families in four years of war, were finally allowed to do so. Fifty Yemenis were able to fly out from Sana to Muscat to get treatment — something that has not happened for years. As we convene in Sweden, we will announce the signing of the long-awaited agreement on the exchange of prisoners, the first formal agreement between the two parties since the beginning of this conflict. Thousands of families in Yemen, who have been waiting for their missing relatives, can finally expect to be reunited with their loved ones.

These political consultations in Sweden are the first step toward putting Yemen on the path to peace. I hope that by the end of this round, the Yemeni parties will agree on the outline of an eventual comprehensive agreement, which will then be submitted to the United Nations secretary general and then to the Security Council for endorsement. I hope it will become a public road map to peace.

As a mediator, I believe that ending a war is not the same as building peace. In any peace process, the leading role goes to those who can stop the fighting, then the people at large whose nation deserves peace and whose families, now victims, may become beneficiaries. Over months of meetings with Yemenis from diverse backgrounds, I found that they are marvelous at finding common cause and masters of the art of sitting together to reach agreement.

This was clearly illustrated at their National Dialogue Conference, which convened in Sana from March 2013 to January 2014, when 565 people representing a cross section of Yemen’s population sat together and discussed what the future of the country should look like. The conference was, and still is, a leading international example of inclusive, careful and considered compromise. It is that kind of Yemen to which we all want to return.

It gives me some confidence that when the two parties meet in Sweden, their guiding principle will be that concessions are the central principle of negotiation, that compromises will benefit both sides and the people of Yemen at large. We hope that achieving progress on confidence-building measures and reaching an agreement on a political framework will be the manifestation of such a spirit of compromise.

At no other time has there been such a palpable international urge for the warring parties in Yemen to find a solution. Yemen has been on the top of the agenda for the United Nations secretary general. The Security Council is united in the desire to end this conflict. Countries of the region have demonstrated their full cooperation with our work to restart the political process. Yet, it is only those around the table in a serene, remote part of Sweden who can deliver on these hopes. For the sake of Yemen’s children, we hope they will deliver.

Martin Griffiths is the special envoy of the United Nations secretary general for Yemen.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

3 December 2018

More than 1 billion people in the world live with some form of disability. In many societies, persons with disabilities often end up disconnected, living in isolation and facing discrimination.

In its pledge to leave no one behind, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represents a commitment to reducing inequality and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including people with disabilities. That means implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in all contexts and in all countries. It also means integrating the voices and concerns of people with disabilities into national agendas and policies.

Today, the United Nations is issuing theUN Flagship Report on Disability and Development 2018 – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities. The Report shows that people with disabilities are at a disadvantage regarding most Sustainable Development Goals, but also highlights the growing number of good practices that can create a more inclusive society in which they can live independently.

On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for a better world that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — MESSAGE ON WORLD AIDS DAY

1 December 2018

Thirty years after the first World AIDS Day, the response to HIV stands at a crossroads. Which way we turn may define the course of the epidemic—whether we will end AIDS by 2030, or whether future generations will carry on bearing the burden of this devastating disease.  

More than 77 million people have become infected with HIV, and more than 35 million have died of an AIDS-related illness. Huge progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment, and prevention efforts have avoided millions of new infections.  

Yet the pace of progress is not matching global ambition.  New HIV infections are not falling rapidly enough. Some regions are lagging behind, and financial resources are insufficient. Stigma and discrimination are still holding people back, especially key populations— including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgenders, people who inject drugs, prisoners and migrants—and young women and adolescent girls.  Moreover, one in four people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus, impeding them from making informed decisions on prevention, treatment and other care and support services.

There is still time — to scale-up testing for HIV; to enable more people to access treatment; to increase resources needed to prevent new infections; and to end the stigma.  At this critical juncture, we need to take the right turn now.

STATEMENT BY THE SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL FOR YEMEN, DURING HIS VISIT TO HUDAYDAH “THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD IS ON HUDAYDAH”

23 November 2018

I arrived earlier this morning from Sana’a and have received a very warm welcome from senior representatives here. I am very grateful to them for organizing this visit.

The attention of the world is on Hudaydah. Leaders from every country have called for us all to keep the peace in Hudaydah. I have come here today with my good friends and colleagues, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Lise Grande and The World Food Programme Country Director of Yemen, Stephen Anderson to learn first-hand how we can help to keep that international pledge to protect the people of Hudaydah from further devastation.

I welcome the recent calls for a halt in the fighting in Hudaydah. This is an essential step if we are to protect the lives of civilians and build confidence among the parties. As you know I plan and hope to bring the parties together in Sweden very soon for political consultations.

I had the privilege of meeting yesterday in Sana’a with the Ansarallah leadership. Among other things, we talked about how the UN could contribute to keeping the peace in Hudaydah, and I am here to tell you today that we have agreed that the UN should now pursue actively and urgently detailed negotiations for a leading UN role in the Port and more broadly. We believe that such a role will preserve the essential humanitarian pipeline that starts here and serves the people of Yemen. We hope that it will also contribute to international efforts to increase the capacity and effectiveness of port operations.

WFP welcomes new funding pledge for humanitarian needs in Yemen from United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

D – DUBAI/RIYADH

The United Nations World Food programme (WFP) welcomes a pledge of US$500 million from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for humanitarian food assistance to Yemen. The funds, which will partially go to WFP, will cover shortfalls in the current humanitarian response while helping WFP scale up its operation to provide life-saving food assistance to 10-12 million severely hungry people in Yemen, including more than 2 million children.

“What Yemen needs most is peace because that would make the greatest amount of difference in every Yemeni life,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “In the meantime, this important donation will help us save children on the brink of death. I thank the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a contribution that will truly save lives.”

Beasley has just returned from a visit to Yemen, where he witnessed first-hand the human suffering caused by years of conflict. WFP is currently providing food assistance to 7 – 8 million severely hungry people there every month but has started scaling up its operations due to the deteriorating food security situation. Rapidly rising prices have put what limited food there is beyond the reach of many Yemeni families.

Beasley added that the new contribution will allow WFP to expand cash-based assistance which helps not just those buying food and other basic items but also merchants and small businesses – a key step in kick-starting the collapsed Yemeni economy.

Beasley recently made his first official visit to the UAE, where he met with the leadership to discuss the country’s role in providing humanitarian support for Yemen. He addressed the UN Security Council last week asking for an end to the conflict and requesting more funding for humanitarian assistance.

Earlier this year, the UAE and KSA jointly pledged US$930 million for humanitarian assistance in Yemen, of which US$442 million went to WFP.

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The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 66634352
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 66634522

SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING OF THE SPECIAL ENVOY FOR YEMEN, 16 NOVEMBER 2018, TEXT AS DELIVERED

Mr. President,

Yemen has long been referred to as the forgotten war. I am grateful that this is no longer the case. Never has so much international attention and energy been given to this crisis, and rightly so. Yemen remains the largest humanitarian disaster in the world as we will hear from Mark Lowcock and David Beasley. The fight against famine is ongoing. Women, children and men are dying from preventable diseases. The economy remains on the verge of collapse.

This requires urgent action from all of us.

Public opinion and leaders have called urgently to remove the prospect of famine. This is a clear example of the international conscience. For this reason, I personally encourage the Council to support the five requests presented by Mark Lowcock in this very Chamber late October. It provides a very clear roadmap that we must all support.

Mr. President,

 

The conflict continues, and rages on. We see Hodeidah as the center of gravity of the war. And for this reason, we deeply welcome recent reports of the reduction of violence on Hodeidah fronts.

And we need it to last.

I am extremely grateful to all leaders and others who have called for a cessation of hostilities. There must be no temptation to restart that battle. As the mediator in this conflict, I strongly believe that nothing should be allowed to impede the chance of dialogue and negotiation.

This Council has consistently called on all the parties to avoid any humanitarian catastrophe. And Secretary-General Guterres recently reminded us of our fears in that regard, the other day. But the situation in Hodeidah is fragile and unstable. We need to take urgent action. As you  recall, we made some progress over the summer to reach a negotiated handover of the port of Hodeidah to the United Nations. I plan to visit Hodeidah next week along with my colleague Lise Grande, not least to revisit a UN supervisory role for the port and to draw attention to the continued need for a pause.

I am encouraged by the recent calls from all parties, the Government of Yemen in particular, and Ansar Allah, in addition to the Coalition, for the UN to step forward at this time on this issue. Let us build on this rather than retreat.

 

Mr. President,

 

With increased international attention has come a renewed commitment from the Yemeni parties to work on a political solution. I welcome President Hadi’s announcement to move swiftly to a political solution. And I know from my contacts in Sana’a that Ansar Allah is also committed to this. And with this in mind, I intend to reconvene the parties shortly – and to do so in Sweden. I thank the Swedish government, through the representative of Sweden present here, for their offer to host the consultations. I believe we are close to resolving the preparatory issues that will allow to make this happen. I am grateful to the Coalition for agreeing our proposed logistical arrangements, and to the Coalition and Oman for their agreement to facilitate the medical evacuation of some injured Yemenis out of Sana’a.

This is a crucial moment for Yemen. I have received firm assurances from the leadership of the Yemeni parties; the government of Yemen and Ansar Allah, that they are committed to attending these consultations. I believe they are genuine and I expect them to continue in that way, and to appear for these consultations, and indeed so do the Yemeni people, who are desperate for a political solution to a war in which they are the main victims.

Mr. President,

I have spent the last two months seeking support from the parties for an updated version of the Framework for Negotiations that I briefed you in this Council on 18 June, where I briefed you orally on the elements of such a framework. The Framework is based upon the three references, SCR 2216, as well as the progress made particularly in Kuwait, and I repeat again, as I have done in previous meetings of this council, gratitude to the Government of Kuwait for hosting those talks in 2016. After careful listening to the parties over the last few months, I am confident that this framework is in line with both the requirements of this Council, and the new realities of the conflict in Yemen. The Framework, however, is my vision. But its ideas are not mine alone. Every conversation, every negotiation which has gone before has, I hope, become the basis for this document. I have, as you would imagine, shared it with the parties, for their views, and ultimately, I hope, their acceptance, just as a basis for negotiation, and not to negotiate the text itself. That would be the matter that would bring the parties together in the coming weeks and months. And when the parties have had the opportunity to brief me on their views on that Framework,  I would like to put it in front of this Council, and seek your endorsement, so that we can use it as a basis for  the upcoming consultations on substance, and to agree a roadmap, ideally in the next round of consultations, towards a Transitional Agreement.

This Framework establishes the principles and parameters for UN-led, inclusive Yemeni negotiations to end the war, and restart a political transition process. It includes a set of interim security and political arrangements, including mechanisms, sequencing and guarantees for implementation. It is a very broad document, as it only intends to be a basis for detailed negotiations. But I do believe that the arrangements outlined and referred to, will allow for an end to the fighting inside of Yemen, the return of Yemen’s friendly relations with neighboring states and the restoring of state institutions.

And I believe that this Framework reflects, in fact and in words, the resolutions of this Council, and in no way derogates from them. My task is to fashion a road towards principled compromise, which allows the people of Yemen to live again in peace, and to set out a political solution that is available, and as I said before, it is there for taking.

 

Mr. President,

A mediator’s principal task is to bring the parties together to resolve their differences through dialogue and compromise rather than combat and conflict. This is what I hope we will soon, as we move forward.

We are doing all that we can to achieve these goals. But as I said, in April, in this chamber: events of war can always take peace off the table. We must not let that happen now.

We are working very hard to finalize the logistical arrangements. I will go to Sana’a next week for this purpose. I shall meet the Ansar Allah leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, with whom I have had detailed discussions in previous months, about the need for engagement, consultations, and ultimately negotiations. It will be useful for me to hear again his leadership on these matters. I will also be happy to travel myself, if necessary, with their delegation to the consultations, if that is needed.

 

Mr. President,

 

For a political settlement to be sustainable it must be inclusive, and it is a requirement of the resolutions affecting this conflict. And it must enjoy the support of the Yemeni people. I am fortunate to have the support of the Yemeni women advisory group, which not only came with us to Geneva, but is providing specific ideas on tactics and strategies as we move forward towards consultations.

We are also looking at using technology to strengthen inclusivity to provide an interactive platform for these voices which cannot travel, for the voices of those in Yemen, to be heard as we gather the parties around the table. In the 21st century, physical presence is not the only way to strengthen inclusion.

The Southern question is always on our minds. We are currently enjoying a period of calm, but the threat of violence, destabilization and instability is ever present. I have spent a lot of time listening to southern groups and exploring ways to address their concerns. Ultimately, the just resolution of the southern issue should be achieved, in my view, during the transitional period. It should meet the legitimate aspirations of the people of Yemen, and ensure that they enjoy the benefits of good governance.

Southern actors will clearly have a crucial role in safeguarding the outcomes of the peace process we are working on now and it is vital to secure their buy-in. It is my responsibility however to alert you that that there is unfinished business in the south of Yemen.

 

Mr. President,

 

I would like to take the opportunity to announce to members of this Council that we are about to conclude an agreement between the parties on the exchange of prisoners and detainees, it may well be the first signed agreement between the parties in this conflict. We made great progress. President Hadi was the first to urge us to focus on this, and I also had the support of Abdel Malek Al Houthi when I first met him. I welcome the commitment of all parties who have engaged in good faith; the Coalition, the Government of Yemen, and Ansar Allah. It is an important humanitarian gesture and a timely message of hope to the Yemeni people. I had hoped that we would have been able to announce the formalization of this agreement today, but I am sure it will happen in the coming days.

I strongly believe that the parties need to get together without condition, under our auspices, to jointly address the dire economic situation in Yemen including the rapid deterioration of the Yemeni Rial – a key contributing aspect of famine. It is useful to note, and important to give credit to the Government of Yemen, that the depreciation of the Rial which was alarming, has now flattened out. This should not be a matter subject to political consideration when the victims are the Yemeni people. This is not indeed a confidence-building measures. It is a moral responsibility and obligation of the parties to the Yemeni people. I am planning to convene soon a meeting of the Central Bank of Yemen, to be facilitated by the IMF, to agree on an action plan which would allow the Central Bank of Yemen to discharge its responsibilities across the country and for all the people of Yemen.

 

Finally, Mr. President,

We must seize this positive international momentum on Yemen. Attention to Yemen is a great asset, as is the unity of this Council.

I strongly believe that this is an opportunity at a crucial moment to pursue a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement to the conflict.

Indeed, Yemen can no longer afford to be referred as a forgotten war.

What I would ask you to consider, Mr. President, is that all our efforts should be directed towards at least two things. Firstly; the humanitarian priority, that Marc and David will refer to in a minute, which is the most important priority to the people of Yemen. And secondly; let us hope that there will be no acts which prevent the convening of the parties for consultations, in Sweden, in the coming weeks. This is an opportunity which has long been awaited by the people of Yemen. It is an opportunity which this council has long asked of the parties. I think we are almost there. We need to focus to make sure that nothing disrupts the path to that meeting.

Concerned for civilians in Yemen, UNHCR echoes calls for continued restraint

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo  to whom quoted text may be attributed  at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

World Food Programme Chief appeals for peace in Yemen as agency plans major scale-up of food aid

15 November 2018 – ROME

A heartfelt plea for an end to the fighting in Yemen has been issued by the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme as he concluded a three-day visit to the country which has become the scene of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.

“What Yemen needs is peace,” said David Beasley. “Only then will it be possible to re-start the economy, get the currency under control and start paying public salaries, so people can have the money they need to buy food and other basics.”

In the face of rapidly rising hunger, WFP is preparing to scale up to provide food and cash-based assistance for as many as 12 million people whose lives have been torn apart by the conflict. WFP is already reaching 7-8 million people with food assistance every month.

“My heart is breaking after what I saw at the hospital in Hodeidah,” said Beasley. “Small children, so malnourished they’re little more than skin and bone, lying there with hardly the strength to breathe. In the name of humanity, I urge all warring parties to put an end to this horrific war. Let the children live and let the people start to rebuild their lives.”

For WFP video shot in Yemen this week: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/yKhABAHzKH

For WFP photos shot in Yemen this week: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/jvj2YsoPt3

To request an interview with WFP chief David Beasley, WFP Yemen Country Director Stephen Anderson, or WFP Spokesperson Abeer Etefa (now in Yemen), please contact david.orr@wfp.org

Beasley is one of a number of top UN officials who will be in New York to address a UN Security Council session on Yemen starting at 15.00 on Friday, EST. The event will be webcast: www.webtv.un.org

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The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +201066634522
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob. +1-202-770-5993
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-653-1149, Mob. +1-202-774-4026
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 (0)20 3857 7411, Mob. +44 (0)7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Berlin, Mob. +49-160 9926 1730
Herve Verhoosel, WFP/Geneva, Mob. + 41798428057
David Orr, WFP/Rome, Mob. + 393402466831

1,500 pregnant women at risk of death as main hospital in Hodeidah becomes inaccessible

By Dr. Luay Shabaneh, UNFPA’s Director for the Arab region

Cairo, 14 November 2018

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, fears that among the 10,000 pregnant women caught in the fighting in Hodeidah City, the lives of an estimated 1,500 who are likely to encounter complications during pregnancy and childbirth might be at risk as the city’s only hospital that can provide emergency care becomes inaccessible.

Health facilities across Hodeida are closed or functioning at minimum capacity, which is straining Al-Thawra Hospital, the governorate’s major neonatal care facility that witnesses some 400 to 500 deliveries per month, including more than 200 caesarian sections.

UNFPA is leading efforts to provide immediate humanitarian assistance with a focus on essential reproductive health supplies, life-saving medicines and incentives for health staff performing safe deliveries and caesarian sections.

UNFPA remains committed to supporting the Yemeni people and working to prevent this unfolding humanitarian catastrophe.

We call on all parties to the conflict to respect their legal obligations under International Humanitarian Law to ensure the protection of health workers, patients, health facilities, and communities and to facilitate humanitarian access to areas where people need our help the most