Aid agencies in Yemen forced to shift resources from fighting hunger to cholera – UN

In May 2017, at the Sab’een Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen, patients suffering from severe diarrhoea or cholera receive treatment. Photo: UNICEF/ Alzekri

11 July 2017

Unless the international community contributes $200 million to address the cholera outbreak in Yemen, the United Nations humanitarian arm will be forced to “reprogram” more resources tagged for malnutrition in the country already facing famine, a senior official today said.

“This unprecedented cholera epidemic would further weaken the resources, and the resilience that people had had over the last two and a half years of this war,” Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, told journalists in Geneva.

There were now 313,538 suspected cases of cholera and 1,732 deaths, according to figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

About 40 per cent of the suspected cases and a quarter of the deaths were among children younger than 15 years old, particularly the malnourished. Older adults, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions were among the greatest risk for death.

“All of this is entirely man-made, as a result of the conflict,” Mr. McGoldrick said by phone from Amman, Jordan.

He noted that two million additional people were added to the humanitarian case load since the start of the year as a result of the cholera outbreak, the looming famine, and the economic collapse.

Humanitarians were not as far ahead as they should be in terms of the cholera response, he noted, mainly due to the fact that they did not have enough resources to expand their operations into areas where health workers were working without pay.

“The actual system is in complete collapse,” he said.

The UN has received only one-third of the $2.1 billion it sought to provide food to the millions people facing famine in Yemen; separately, a $250 million funding appeal on cholera received only $47 million.

“Agencies have had to use resources which they had programmed otherwise, for example for food security or malnutrition,” said Mr. McGoldrick.

UN agency considers “shelving” cholera vaccine in Yemen

Meanwhile, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is considering not shipping vaccines tagged for Yemen.

“A vaccination way ahead of an outbreak would be useful, but that would imply a huge amount of vaccines, taking into account all the countries where cholera was endemic,” Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson, told journalists.

European Union and UNDP support social protection for community resilience in Yemen

6 July 2017

The European Union (EU) confirms its commitment to Yemen by providing EUR 25 million (nearly USD 27 million) to support the vulnerable Yemeni people affected by the devastating conflict.

The project, to be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and local communities, will help struggling households to earn income to buy food and other essentials; keep some of the remaining healthcare facilities open and provide more psychosocial support to affected civilians.

The main results under this commitment are expected to:

  • Give 42,000 people much-needed cash in return for helping to rebuild around 45 health facilities, including women, youth and those internally displaced by the conflict. The cash-for-work programme will indirectly benefit around 250,000 people;
  • Invest in solar energy for at least 80 health facilities affected by fuel shortages and electricity cuts; and
  • Mobilize local networks, including teachers, to identify adults and children in conflict-affected areas who need psychosocial support and refer them to adequate treatment

The EU and UNDP will work together across the 21 governorates and one municipality in Yemen, in response to the latest conflict.

For more than two years, UNDP has worked with communities affected by the growing humanitarian crisis, including through projects to increase food production; support small and micro-businesses; train women as community health and nutrition workers and train NGO staff on working in conflict contexts.

UNDP Country Director in Yemen, Auke Lootsma, said Yemen already had high levels of poverty before the conflict, and the crisis had pushed the resilience of Yemenis to the limit and beyond.

“With the much-needed help of the EU, UNDP is complementing the ongoing humanitarian response in Yemen by enrolling the poorest families in cash-for-work activities so they can afford to buy food, water and medicines,” Mr Lootsma said.

“Yemen is among the largest forgotten crises in world, with a looming famine and devastating cholera outbreak.

“With the economy and state institutions collapsing, the population needs all the support they can get.”

Antonia Calvo Puerta, European Union Ambassador for Yemen, said: “The protracted nature of the crisis, and the fact that it is severely affecting the majority of the population, is putting immense pressure on the international community, which is called to ensure a response at scale.

“The European Union is committed to offer relief to the Yemeni population in this protracted difficult situation, with any available diplomatic and financial instruments.”

 

Contact information:

UNDP

Brussels: Ludmila Tiganu, ludmila.tiganu@undp.orgor +32 2 213 82 96

New York: Ann-Marie Wilcock, ann-marie.wilcock@undp.org or +1 917 583 7300

 

European Commission

Elgars Ozolins, elgars.ozolins@ec.europa.eu

Richard Hands, richard.hands@ec.europa.eu

Rising cholera, diarrhoea and malnutrition ‘deadly’ for children in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan, warns UNICEF

Two boys, one 16 years old and the other 12, collect water from a damaged pipe on the outskirts of Juba, South Sudan. The water is pumped from the White Nile River, but is untreated, risking the health of those who consume it. Photo: UNICEF/Hatcher-Moore

4 July 2017

Access, funding and security are urgently needed to ensure humanitarians can reach hundreds of thousands of children suffering from cholera and diarrhoea across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said.

On top of these diseases, rising rates of malnutrition in these countries “could be deadly for children,” Christophe Boulierac, a spokesperson for the UN agency, said at a regular news briefing in Geneva.

“Access, funding and security are needed in the four countries so that UNICEF and our partners can reach children with an integrated response that deal simultaneously with both malnutrition and disease prevention treatment,” he added.

According to the UNICEF spokesperson, Yemen is presently the worst cholera outbreak in the world with over 260,000 suspected cases and over 1,600 deaths. Of these, half the suspected cases and a quarter of the deaths are among children.

Furthermore, the situation of South Sudan is equally worrying. The current cholera outbreak in the country, which started in June last year, has for the first time lasted through the entire dry season and there are fears that it could worsen as the new rainy season progresses.

About 6,870 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in South Sudan so far this year, informed Mr. Boulierac, noting that children and teenagers accounted for about 51 per cent of the cases.

On top of this, about 1.1 million are malnourished in the country and almost 290,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

In Somalia, there are about 53,000 cases of cholera (three times more than in 2016 and ten times more than in 2015) and some 1.4 million children are feared to be malnourished, 275,000 of them severely malnourished, the UN spokesperson added.

Furthermore, in Sudan, over 20,000 suspected cases of acute water diarrhoea, with over 400 deaths, had been recorded.

“Over 20 per cent of the affected population are children,” he noted.

Response in midst of daunting challenges

In their response, UN agencies, including UNICEF as well as humanitarian partners have stepped up their efforts but face considerable challenges.

In Yemen, UNICEF delivered a total of 36 tons of life saving medical and water purification supplies to Yemen on board chartered aircrafts. However, with limited access and a national health system ravaged by conflict, there are significant challenges reaching those in need.

Similarly, access is a major obstacle in Sudan where the most affected areas lack safe water and proper sanitation. In the country, UNICEF is also in urgent need of some $22 million to provide life-saving interventions to over 100,000 children.

As part of its programmes, UNICEF along with partners is providing therapeutic and life-saving food treatment to severely malnourished children South Sudan (200,000), Somalia (200,000) and Yemen (320,000). The UN agency is also restoring and equipping health facilities, developing medical and nutritional supply pipelines and providing clean and safe water to vulnerable children and families.

400 tons of life-saving health supplies arrive in Yemen

2 July 2017

Twenty ambulances, 100 cholera kits, hospital equipment and 128 000 bags of intravenous fluids – these are just some of the supplies which arrived in Hodeida, Yemen, Friday, as part of a 403-ton shipment sent by the World Health Organization (WHO). An additional 10 ambulances were delivered through the Port of Aden 3 weeks ago with 10 more due to arrive in coming weeks.

“We needed a special kind of ship to carry the ambulances and luckily we found one in the region,” explained Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen. “It was absolutely enormous. But so are the needs in Yemen right now. So we loaded as many supplies as possible onto it, including some therapeutic feeding items that our sister agency UNICEF will use for children suffering from malnutrition.”

WHO Yemen/M. OltarzewskaWHO Yemen/M. OltarzewskaGetting medical supplies to vulnerable people across Yemen is no easy task, with active conflict, damaged port infrastructure and logistical difficulties impeding access. The flow of medicines into the country has dried up by more than 70%.

“People are dying in Yemen right now because they cannot access health care,” continued Dr Zagaria. “The most visible example of the health system’s inability to respond to the needs of the population is the ongoing cholera outbreak, which has resulted in the deaths of 1500 Yemenis in just over 2 months. But people are also dying of things like childhood pneumonia, malaria, complications around childbirth, high blood pressure and diabetes because they cannot access treatment. The medicines and equipment delivered today will save lives.”

The delivery of these life-saving health supplies is thanks to support from the Emirates Red Crescent, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and the World Bank.

UN World Food Programme Welcomes Japanese Contribution To Address Food Insecurity In Yemen

30 June 2017 – SANA’A

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$4.5 million contribution from the Government of Japan, to help WFP fight the devastating food crisis in Yemen, building on the US$12.99 million grant contributed by Japan earlier this year.

This latest contribution will allow WFP to meet the food needs of more than 760,000 desperately hungry people in Yemen through its general food assistance (GFA) programme, in addition to partly covering the monthly nutrition needs of more than 280,000 pregnant and nursing women across Yemen.

More than 17 million people, or two-thirds of the population, are suffering from hunger in Yemen. This includes around 6.8 million people who are  suffering from extreme hunger and more than one million pregnant and nursing women who are acutely malnourished and  face an increased risk of death and disease.

“At a time when millions of Yemenis face the very real prospect of famine, we would like to express our gratitude for the steadfast support of the people and Government of Japan for boosting their support to WFP,” said Country Representative and Director Stephen Anderson. “By making this second important contribution to WFP’s emergency response this year, Japan also sends a positive signal to other donors as needs are outstripping available resources.”

In Yemen, the needs are higher than ever and funding is urgently  required to head off a disaster,  especially with an escalating cholera  outbreak.

WFP has been reaching some 4.5 million people on a monthly basis with life-saving assistance including people living in districts most at risk of tipping in to famine. During this year, WFP and its partners aim to provide food assistance to more than 9 million people suffering from extreme hunger and specialized nutritious foods to 2.9 million people mainly children under five years of age.

“Reaching out to vulnerable people in Yemen is Japan’s priority at this critical moment,” said Katsuyoshi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to Yemen.  “We feel privileged to have a strong partnership with WFP that has been tackling the daunting task of alleviating hunger and malnutrition of the Yemeni people.”

In April 2017, WFP launched a new emergency operation to prevent famine and support longer-term recovery in Yemen. The new emergency operation will cost up to US$1.2 billion over a 1-year period    to gradually scale up assistance to feed all severely food insecure people in Yemen every month. The success of this operation hinges on immediate sufficient resources from donors.

The Government of Japan has been one of WFP’s most consistent and reliable partners through funding food assistance to relieve the hunger crisis in Yemen.

# # # # # # #

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Mohamed Megahed, WFP/Amman, Tel. +962 791295749
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634522
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, Statement on Support for the Cholera Response in Yemen

New York,  24 June 2017

I welcome the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s announcement yesterday that it will contribute $66.7 million to UNICEF and the World Health Organization to combat cholera in Yemen.

This follows an announcement by the European Commission that it will provide an additional $5.6 million for the cholera response, bringing the Commission’s total to $9.9 million.

With the number of suspected cholera cases having surpassed 200,000 this week, we urge all donors to make funds available immediately so that the UN and its partners can continue to scale up the response to the required level. We also urgently need further funding for the 2017 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, which requires $2.1 billion – but is only is 30 per cent funded.

The deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Yemen over the past two years – with 6.8 million people now a step away from famine and 1,300 deaths associated with the current cholera epidemic – was preventable. The humanitarian crisis is man-made, driven by conflict and the actions of the parties that have prevented the delivery of aid to people in need, as well as by the inaction of the international community.

As the Eid approaches, I call on all parties to the conflict and those that support them to respect international humanitarian law and principles and do all they can to facilitate the response in all communities at risk of cholera.

Once committed, the funding through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre will have a significant impact in our efforts to beat back the epidemic. We are grateful for the announcement and also thank all donors that have generously committed funds to the humanitarian response in Yemen.

As critical as humanitarian aid is at this juncture, the only lasting solution to horrors like cholera and famine is to end the conflict.

 

For further information, please contact:
Russell Geekie, OCHA New York, geekie@un.org, Tel. +1 917 3310393
Jens Laerke, OCHA Geneva, laerke@un.org , Tel. +41 79 472 9750

Statement from UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on the cholera outbreak in Yemen as suspected cases exceed 200,000

NEW YORK/GENEVA, 24 June 2017

“The rapidly spreading cholera outbreak in Yemen has exceeded 200,000 suspected cases, increasing at an average of 5,000 a day. We are now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world.

“In just two months, cholera has spread to almost every governorate of this war-torn country.  Already more than 1,300 people have died – one quarter of them children – and the death toll is expected to rise.

“UNICEF, WHO and our partners are racing to stop the acceleration of this deadly outbreak. We are working around the clock to detect and track the spread of disease and to reach people with clean water, adequate sanitation and medical treatment. Rapid response teams are going house-to-house to reach families with information about how to protect themselves by cleaning and storing drinking water.

“UNICEF and WHO are taking all measures to scale up prevention and treatment interventions.  We call on authorities in Yemen to strengthen their internal efforts to stop the outbreak from spreading further.

“This deadly cholera outbreak is the direct consequence of two years of heavy conflict. Collapsing health, water and sanitation systems have cut off 14.5 million people from regular access to clean water and sanitation, increasing the ability of the disease to spread.  Rising rates of malnutrition have weakened children’s health and made them more vulnerable to disease. An estimated 30,000 dedicated local health workers who play the largest role in ending this outbreak have not been paid their salaries for nearly 10 months.

“We urge all authorities inside the country to pay these salaries and, above all, we call on all parties to end this devastating conflict.”

###

For further information, please contact:

Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, + 1917 209 1804,nmekki@unicef.org

Christopher Tidey, UNICEF New York, +1917 340 3017,ctidey@unicef.org

Christian Lindmeier, WHO Geneva, Tel: +4122 791 1948; Mob: +4179 500 6552; E-mail: lindmeierch@who.int

المبعوث الدولي لليمن: الأزمة الانسانية وشبح المجاعة من صنع الإنسان وكان من الممكن تفاديهما

30/5/2017

قال إسماعيل ولد الشيخ أحمد المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام لليمن إن العنف مستمر على عدة أصعدة، وتتواصل معه معاناة الشعب اليمني.

وأضاف أن الأعمال القتالية تتركز على الساحل الغربي لمحافظة تعز كما يتواصل العنف في محافظة حجة والمنطقة الحدودية بين اليمن والسعودية، فيما أصابت الغارات الجوية مناطق أخرى عديدة في اليمن.

جاء ذلك في كلمة ولد الشيخ أحمد في الجلسة التي عقدها مجلس الأمن الدولي للاطلاع على تطورات الأوضاع السياسية والإنسانية في اليمن.

“مع بداية شهر رمضان المبارك، نذكر أن هناك سبعة ملايين يمني ويمنية مهددون بخطر المجاعة إن لم تتوقف الحرب. ربع اليمنيين غير قادرين على شراء المواد الغذائية الأساسية. نصف المجتمع اليمني لا يحصل على مياه صالحة للشرب، أو على أبسط مستلزمات التعقيم والنظافة وهذا يساهم في انتشار الأمراض المعدية. فانتشار داء الكوليرا مؤخرا أدى الى ما يزيد عن 500 حالة وفاة وآلاف حالات الإصابة المشتبه بها.”

وأضاف ولد الشيخ أحمد أن تراجع الخدمات الصحية ساهم في الانتشار السريع لمرض الكوليرا. وقال إن اليمنيين لا يموتون فقط من الحرب المستمرة، انما يموتون أيضا بسبب انعكاساتها. وأضاف أن نقص السيولة النقدية وانقطاع مصادر رزق اليمنيين يمنعهم من الحصول على الخدمات الصحية التي هم بحاجة اليها.

وأضاف في إحاطته لمجلس الأمن الدولي:

” تمكنا حتى الآن من منع عملية عسكرية على الحديدة. إن امتداد القتال إلى المدينة، لو حصل، لأدى الى خسائر لا تحصى في الأرواح والبنى التحتية وإلى منع دخول الأدوية والمواد الأساسية عبر ميناء المدينة. ولا شك أن لذلك وحده نتائج وخيمة تزيد من معاناة اليمنيين.”

وأشار المبعوث الخاص إلى أنه كان واضحا للغاية خلال لقاءاته مع الحكومة اليمنية والقيادات السياسية في صنعاء، إذ حث الجميع على التوصل إلى تسوية للوضع في الحديدة.

وأعرب ولد الشيخ أحمد عن الأسف لعدم حضور الوفد المفاوض لأنصار الله والمؤتمر الشعبي العام التباحث بتفاصيل الحل التفاوضي الذي يشمل ركائز أمنية واقتصادية وإنسانية، تسمح باستغلال المرفأ لإدخال المواد الإنسانية والمنتجات التجارية على أن تستعمل الإيرادات الجمركية والضريبية لتمويل الرواتب والخدمات الأساسية بدلا من استغلالها للحرب أو للمنافع الشخصية.

وقال إن المقترح الذي تقدم به لتجنب الاشتباكات العسكرية في الحديدة يجب التفاوض عليه بموازاة اتفاق آخر يضمن دفع الرواتب لكل موظفي الدولة في كافة المناطق اليمنية.

وذكر أن عدم الحصول على الرواتب يؤدي لازدياد نسبة الفقر المدقع، ووجه الدعوة مرة أخرى لجميع الأطراف للتباحث في هذا الاقتراح وبدون أي تأخير. وجدد القول إن دفع الرواتب لن يكون ممكنا إلا بالاتفاق بين الأطراف اليمنية بما يتطلب تعاونا جديا وبناء بدلا من إلقاء اللوم على الأمم المتحدة.

وأعرب المبعوث الخاص عن القلق إزاء التقارير الواردة من اليمن عن أعمال قمع الإعلاميين والناشطين الحقوقيين والمجتمع المدني، الأمر الذي وصل في بعض الأحيان الى التحرش والضرب والاعتقال القسري والمحاكمات العشوائية.

وأكد ولد الشيخ أحمد أهمية الجهد الجبار والأساسي الذي تقوم به السيدات اليمنيات للمساهمة في حل النزاع ووضع توجه نحو السلام المستديم والمصالحة الوطنية بالرغم من الجو السياسي المشحون بالعنف في البلاد والذي يؤثر على سلامتهن.
وأضاف ولد الشيخ أحمد:

“أطلب من هذا المجلس الموقر حث الأطراف على التعاون المباشر مع الأمم المتحدة للتباحث حول كيفية إنهاء النزاع ووقف هدر الدماء وعدم تعريض المواطنين للمجاعة والأمراض. إن الأزمة الانسانية وشبح المجاعة هما من صنع الإنسان وكان من الممكن تفاديهما بينما يواصل أطراف النزاع أخذ البلاد الى الهاوية وغير مكترثين بآلاف المواطنين الذين يخسرون حياتهم علما بأن وحدة الصف في المجتمع الدولي لمسار الأمم المتحدة للسلام ساهمت في توضيح الرؤيا للمرحلة المقبلة في التاريخ اليمني.”

وفي ختام كلمته دعا المبعوث الدولي إلى تذكر آلاف اليمنيين واليمنيات الذين خسروا حياتهم دون أي سبب أو ذنب، وملايين اليمنيين الذين يتعرضون للموت في كل لحظة نتيجة مسببات يمكن تفاديها.

وتلخصت دعوته في القول “كفى نزاعات على السلطة وليكن النزاع من أجل اليمن وبناء وطن حقوق أبنائه محترمة ومحفوظة واقتصاده مستقر ومؤسساته الحكومية فعالة، وطن لليمنيين، كل اليمنيين، كما يستحقه اليمنيون”.

Peacekeeping is cost effective, but must adapt to new reality By António Guterres

When I entered the United Nations Secretariat building for the first time as Secretary-General in January, my first act was to lay a wreath honoring more than 3,500 United Nations staff who died in the service of peace. Later that same week, two Blue Helmets were killed in the Central African Republic, where they were working to prevent violent confrontations between communities from descending into mass killings. United Nations peacekeepers place themselves in harm’s way every day, between armed groups that are trying to kill each other or to harm civilians.

Countless lives have been saved and improved by UN peacekeeping over the past seventy years; countless families ravaged by war have been given a new start. Independent research has shown the worth of peacekeeping: it prevents the spread of violence; and it typically reduces the numbers of civilians killed by more than 90 percent, compared to before the deployment.

We also know peacekeeping is cost-effective. The UN peacekeeping budget is less than half of 1 percent of global military spending, and is shared between all 193 UN Member States. US studies show that UN peacekeeping missions are an estimated 8 times more cost-effective than when the US acts alone. That investment pays off many times over when we consider the economic growth and prosperity that follow from increased stability and security after successful peacekeeping missions.

In our interconnected world, the emergence of global terrorism means that instability anywhere is a threat everywhere. United Nations peacekeeping operations are on the frontlines of our efforts to prevent the emergence of lawless regions where insecurity, transnational crime and extremism can flourish. They are an investment in global peace, security and prosperity.

Our missions have contributed to a legacy of stability, development and economic growth from El Salvador to Namibia, and from Mozambique to Cambodia. Fifty-four operations have completed their mandates and closed; two more, in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, will do so in the months ahead.

While the United Nations is facing up to the challenges and shortcomings of our peacekeeping efforts, we should also recognize the successes of our mission for peace.

The Central African Republic was facing the threat of genocide when peacekeepers arrived two years ago. Today, the country has elected a new government in a peaceful and democratic process, and is struggling to move towards peace and stability, disarmament and the rule of law. Our mission, MINUSCA, is providing crucial support to reduce the threat posed by armed groups, but the situation remains challenging. It is frightening to imagine the tragic consequences if peacekeepers had not been there.

In South Sudan, UN peacekeepers are sheltering more than 200,000 civilians who fled when their homes were destroyed by the fighting. As famine stalks the country, UN peacekeepers are providing security for humanitarian agencies to deliver lifesaving aid.

Peace in our world may seem like an abstract concept. But peace on the ground depends on gruelingly hard work, every day, under difficult and dangerous conditions. The world relies on United Nations peacekeepers to go where others cannot and will not, despite the many obstacles they must confront.

Too often, United Nations peace operations face a gap between our goals and the means we have to achieve them. In many places, peacekeepers are deployed where warring parties show little commitment to peace. Our missions themselves are increasingly targeted by parties to conflict and violent extremists.

Dealing with this new reality requires a serious strategic reform on our part, based on an analysis of the mandates and capacities of our missions and our partnerships with governments and others. We must adapt peace operations to the dangerous and challenging environments they now face.

We have already made reforms that have reduced costs significantly and given us greater flexibility to deploy peacekeepers at short notice. But more remains to be done. I am determined to work with governments, regional organizations and other partners to make sure peacekeeping has the tools and rules it needs.

United Nations peacekeeping has been tarnished in recent years by appalling cases of sexual exploitation and abuse that are an outrageous violation of everything we value. Tackling this scourge is a priority for the whole United Nations system. I have presented a plan to all UN Member States that is aimed at ending impunity, and will create victims’ rights advocates in our peacekeeping missions and at UN headquarters. I intend to mobilize world leaders around these critical steps.

When people around the world are asked about their priorities, from New York to New Delhi, from Cairo to Cape Town, they give the same response. They want safety and security, to raise their children in peace and give them education and opportunities to shape their future.

United Nations peacekeepers are one of the ways in which we deliver on that universal aspiration and make the world safer for everyone.

* Mr. António Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Note to Correspondents: UN Special Envoy to Yemen Concludes Visit to Sana’a

24 May 2017, Sana’a

The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, concluded today a three-day visit to Sana’a where he met with political leaders from Ansar’Allah and the General People’s Congress and Representatives of other political parties. The talks focused on possible agreements which would to prevent the spread of military activities to Hudeidah and practical ways to ensure the resumption of salaries to all Yemeni civil servants nation-wide.

During his visit, the Special Envoy met as well with members of the Yemeni Women’s Pact for Peace and Security and representatives of civil society organizations to discuss current political challenges and security concerns in addition to the economic crisis and recent outbreak of cholera. In a meeting with Yemeni youth, the Special Envoy discussed mechanisms for greater youth contribution to international efforts to reach a peaceful resolution to the conflict in addition to possible solutions to reopen Sana’a International Airport and prevent further deterioration of the economic and humanitarian situation.


At the end of his visit, the Special Envoy expressed his deep concern regarding the grave attack on his convoy while traveling from the airport to the UN compound on 22 May. The Special Envoy reminded the parties that it is the responsibility of the local authorities to ensure the safety of all UN personnel in the country and urged them to investigate the incident, hold those responsible to account, and prevent any such incidents in the future.  The Special Envoy indicated that the incident increased his determination to continue with his efforts to find a negotiated political settlement that serves the best interests of the Yemeni people.


The Special Envoy’s visit to Sana’a, follows visits to Saudi Arabia and Qatar where he met with government officials as part of his efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. He also met with senior World Bank officials in order to support the World Bank – UN collaboration to address the growing food insecurity and economic crisis in Yemen.