Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock’s Statement on Situation in Yemen

New York, 13 November 2018

I echo the statement of the Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, calling upon all parties to the conflict in Yemen to show restraint. All parties must live up to their obligations under international humanitarian law. I ask that the parties implement a cessation of hostilities, not least in and around all the infrastructure and facilities on which the aid operation and commercial importers rely.

As I told the Security Council on 23 October, and supporting today’s statement by the Special Envoy, the UN is ready to play an enhanced role in ensuring the appropriate use of key facilities, especially around Hudaydah.


6 November 2018

The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, stressed the importance of ongoing Track II efforts, as complementary to official negotiations in Yemen, indicating that it is crucial to work on peace-building in Yemen, in parallel to official diplomatic efforts, known as Track I, to end the war. He added that “the real work in Yemen starts the day after we reach a political deal. We should all work to prepare for that day.”

Griffiths met Tuesday morning with a group of tribal leaders and civil society workers, from Hadhramaut and Marib, on the sidelines of a workshop organized by Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies and Oxford Research Group, in Amman.

At the same time, the office of the Special Envoy hosted a meeting with a group of international and local partners who work on Track II initiatives in Yemen. This meeting comes in the same context of supporting the complementary role of such initiatives to the track of official negotiations. Track II partners also shared perspectives on the political process, based on the consultation exercises which they conducted with a broad range of Yemeni stakeholders

Track II refers to unofficial, informal peacemaking efforts and initiatives carried out by mediators with various societal groups, including civil society organizations, women’s organizations, political groups, youth movements, religious groups, professional organizations and trade unions. Such efforts and activities run parallel to and in support of Track I. Since mid-2015, the Office of the Special Envoy has collaborated with a number of international partners on a wide-range of Track II efforts.

Dozens of children at risk as clashes in Hudaydah near hospital – UNICEF

A file photograph of patients undergoing treatment at the Al Thawra hospital in Hudaydah, Yemen.

6 November 2018 – Humanitarian Aid


Intense fighting near a major hospital in the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah has put scores of children at “imminent risk of death”, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday, calling on the warring parties to stop hostilities near the medical centre and allow those in need to safely access treatment.

In a statement, Henrietta H. Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF, said that children, in particular, “cannot afford” for Al Thawra hospital to be caught up in the fighting.

“Medical staff and patients in the hospital have confirmed hearing heavy bombing and gunfire. Access to and from the hospital, the only functioning one in the area, is now imperilled,” she said.

According to the UN agency, there are 59 children currently at the hospital, including some 25 under treatment at its intensive care unit.

“[We] call on all parties to cease hostilities near and around the hospital, and to ensure that civilians can safely access the hospital from all sides,” added Ms. Fore, urging them to abide by their obligations under international law to protect civilian infrastructure from harm.

Intense fighting … is now dangerously close to Al Thawra hospital – putting the lives of 59 children, including 25 in the ICU, at imminent risk of death – UNICEF chief Fore

The head of UNICEF went on to note that further escalation in fighting will jeopardize the agency’s efforts to deliver lifesaving assistance to many in dire need, including acutely malnourished children.

In addition, there are reports that fighting has intensified around Hudaydah port – the lifeline through which nearly 80 per cent of humanitarian aid, fuel and commercial goods flow into the war-torn country, she added

“The toll in lives could be catastrophic if the port is damaged, destroyed or blocked,”

Risk of ‘full-blown famine’ – UN emergency food relief agency

About a third of the districts in the war-torn country are at a risk of famine and nearly half of the country’s children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. In addition, there has been a 44 per cent increase in children aged 6 to 59 months with severe acute malnutrition – the most extreme and visible form of undernutrition.

The country also represents the worst humanitarian and food-security crisis in the world, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

“The situation in [Yemen] is currently categorized as a pre-famine,” the UN agency’s spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel, toldreporters at a news briefing at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG).

An assessment is underway to determine whether it fulfilled the criteria to amount to a “full-blown famine,” he added.

The port of Hudaydah in war-torn Yemen is one of the few lifelines for humanitarian aid and fuel into the country.

Response ‘cannot be done alone’

In response to the crisis, UN agencies and humanitarian partners have been providing humanitarian aid and protection to populations across the nation.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO), has established some 51 therapeutic feeding centres in 17 governorates, 27 of them were opened this year to provide life-saving treatment for severely malnourished children with medical complications.

In addition, more than 22 million people – nearly 80 per cent of the Yemen’s pre-war population – remain dependent on humanitarian support.

“The magnitude of the problem requires a collective, collaborative and robust response that cannot be done alone,” saidTarik Jašareviæ, a spokesperson for the UN health agency.

اليونيسف: الأطفال اليمنيون في مستشفى الحديدة يواجهون خطر الموت الوشيك

الطفل صالح البالغ من العمر 4 أشهر مع أمه نورا داخل مستشفى الحديدة الرئيسي. ما يقارب من نصف مليون طفل ومليوني أم في اليمن مهددون بالموت بسبب النقص الحاد في التغذية بسبب الصراع الدائر هناك.

6 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2018 – السلم والأمن

حذرت المديرة التنفيذية لليونيسف هنرييتا فور من تعرض الأطفال في مستشفى الحديدة في اليمن “لخطر الموت الوشيك”، في ضوء اقتراب القتال العنيف بشكل خطير من مستشفى الثورة، مما يعرض حياة 59 طفلا، بينهم 25 في وحدة العناية المركزة.

وقالت المديرة التنفيذية لمنظمة الأمم المتحدة المعنية بالأطفال: “الطاقم الطبي والمرضى في المستشفى قد أكدوا سماعهم لأصوات القصف الشديد وإطلاق النيران. والخطر الآن يتهدد إمكانية الوصول إلى المستشفى والخروج منه. وهو المستشفى الوحيد العامل في المنطقة.”

وأضافت، في بيان صحفي أصدرته اليوم الثلاثاء، أنه “لن يكون بوسع الأطفال بالتحديد تحمل وصول الاقتتال إلى مستشفى الثورة؛ ففي الحديدة والمحافظات المجاورة لها، يعاني 40% من أصل 400 ألف طفل من سوء التغذية الحاد والشديد، ويتم نقل بعض الأشد مرضا منهم إلى المستشفى لتلقي الرعاية العاجلة.”

“وتفيد التقارير باشتداد القتال أيضا حول ميناء الحديدة، الذي يدخل عبره نحو 80% من الإمدادات الإنسانية والوقود والسلع التجارية التي تدخل إلى البلاد،” بحسب البيان الصحفي، الذي حذر من أن “الخسائر في الأرواح قد تكون كارثية في حال تَلِف الميناء أو تدمّر أو تعطّل الوصول إليه.”

وبينما تقدم طواقم اليونيسف العاملة على الأرض المساعدات، بما فيها الإمدادات المنقذة للحياة، مثل الأدوية والمياه النظيفة والأغذية العلاجية، لعلاج الأطفال الذين يعانون من سوء التغذية الحاد، إلّا أن “المزيد من التصعيد في القتال سيعرض هذه الجهود للخطر،” كما أشارت هنرييتا فور.

ودعت اليونيسف “جميع الأطراف إلى وقف الأعمال القتالية بالقرب من المستشفى وحوله، وضمان تمكين المدنيين من الوصول من جميع الجهات إلى المستشفى بأمان، وضمان الالتزام بالقانون من أجل وقف الهجمات على المدنيين والبنية التحتية المدنية بما فيها ميناء الحديدة”.


4 November 2018

The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, held a consultative meeting with a group of independent Yemeni figures, who represent a wide spectrum of the Yemeni society, to discuss the current situation in Yemen, and his endeavors to resume the political process. More than 30% of the Yemeni figures taking part in this meeting were women. This one-day meeting, which convened in Amman under Chatham House rules, is the second of its kinds that brings together independent Yemeni figures and the Special Envoy, as the first meeting took place in Wilton Park-London, in August 2018.

Griffiths stressed his keenness to engage with various Yemeni figures, as well as representatives of civil society and women groups, as representatives of the voice of Yemeni citizens at large. The Special Envoy discussed with the participants his ongoing efforts to achieve progress on Confidence Building Measures, and to resume the political process swiftly.

Discussions during this meeting covered a wide range of issues, including the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions, the lack of basic services, in addition to necessary steps for de-escalating the conflict in Yemen.


22 November 2018

The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths stressed the importance of turning the calls for de-escalation in Yemen into action. Speaking to Becky Anderson, on CNN’s Connect the World on Thursday, Griffiths mentioned that there is “a very strong desire to move from war to peace in Yemen”, adding that the challenge now is to turn the calls for de-escalation into action. “What we now urgently need to do is to see what are the first steps that we can make on de-escalating this conflict to give some space for the political process.” Griffiths clarified that while a ceasefire is not a pre-condition for resuming political consultations, “the urgent need now is to do something on the issue of downing the temperature of the war while we move towards talks.” The Special Envoy confirmed that he is working on re-launching the political talks this month, adding that no firm date and venue have been decided yet.

When asked about the alternative to reaching peace in Yemen, Griffiths warned that “the alternative is devastating. It’s famine, of course, which is a viral disease, completely different in scale from hunger. That’s the first problem. Secondly, it’s terrorism which flourishes in chaos. Thirdly, it’s threats to the stability of the region, the trade routes which come up through the Red Sea into Europe. Yemen is positioned in a way which affects us all, not just the people of the region.”
Watch the full interview by clicking here.

مارتن غريفيث لشبكة سي.أن.أن: الحاجة ملحّة للحدّ من التصعيد في النزاع في اليمن


شدد المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة الى اليمن مارتن غريفيث على أهمية تحويل الدعوات إلى الحد من التصعيد في اليمن إلى أفعال. وفي حديثه إلى بيكي أندرسون، خلال حلقة “كونكت ذو وورلد” Connect the Worldعلى شبكة سي إن إن يوم الخميس، ذكر غريفيث أن هناك “رغبة جدية في الانتقال من الحرب إلى السلام في اليمن” ، مضيفًا أن التحدي الآن هو في السعي لتحويل الدعوات إلى الحد من التصعيد إلى أفعال. “ما نحتاج إليه الآن هو أن ننظر وبشكل عاجل في الخطوات الأولى التي يمكننا اتخاذها من اجل الحد من التصعيد في هذا النزاع وافساح المجال امام العملية السياسية”. وأوضح غريفيث أنه في حين أنّ وقف إطلاق النار ليس شرطا مسبقا لاستئناف المشاورات السياسية، غير أن “الحاجة ملحّة الآن الى الحد من ضراوة الحرب بينما نسير قدماً نحو المحادثات”. وأكّد المبعوث الخاص أنه يسعى الى إعادة إطلاق المحادثات السياسية هذا الشهر، موضحاً أنه لم يتم تحديد موعد او مكان لها بعد.

لدى سؤاله حول البديل في حال تعذّر التوصّل إلى السلام في اليمن، حذر غريفيث من أنّ “البديل مدمّر. إنّه يعني المجاعة، بالطبع وهي كالمرض السريع التفشي وهي مختلفة تماما عن الجوع. هذه هي المشكلة الأولى. المشكلة الثانية تكمن في تنامي الإرهاب والمشكلة الثالثة  تتعلّق بتهديد استقرار المنطقة، والممرات التجارية التي تعبر البحر الأحمر وصولاً إلى أوروبا. موقع اليمن حسّاس ويؤثر علينا جميعًا ، وليس فقط على شعوب المنطقة “.

لمشاهدة المقابلة اضغط هنا 


New York, 2 November 2018

Good afternoon. Allow me a clear message about the situation in Yemen – the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

This is not a natural disaster. It is man-made.

Yemen today stands on a precipice.

On the humanitarian side, the situation is desperate. We must do all we can to prevent the already dire conditions from deteriorating into the worst famine we have seen in decades.

But on the political side, there are signs of hope.

We must do all we can to maximize the chances for success.

The international community has a real opportunity to halt the senseless cycle of violence and to prevent an imminent catastrophe.

The time to act is now.

Over the last several months, military escalation and a severe, rapid economic crisis have made an unbearable situation even worse.

International humanitarian law has been flouted repeatedly.

Last week, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, warned the Security Council that Yemen is closer to famine than ever.

The UN and our partners are already feeding 8 million people in Yemen.

Without urgent action, up to 14 million people – fully half the population – could be at risk in the coming months. To avert imminent catastrophe, several steps are urgently required.

First, violence must stop everywhere – with an immediate halt around critical infrastructure and densely populated areas. I welcome the strong, constructive engagement from many Member States in recent days joining their voices to the UN’s repeated appeals for a cessation of hostilities and supporting my Special Envoy’s efforts.

Second, commercial and humanitarian imports of food, fuel and other essentials must be allowed to enter Yemen without restrictions. Roads must remain open, so life-saving goods can reach communities across the country everywhere.

Third, the Yemeni economy must be supported. This includes taking critical steps to stabilize the exchange rate and to pay salaries and pensions.

Fourth, international funding must increase now so that humanitarian agencies can expand their reach as necessary.

At the same time, it is essential that the Yemeni parties engage in good faith and without pre-conditions with my Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, to reach a negotiated political settlement to end the conflict.

The urgency of the humanitarian crisis leaves no room for complacency.

I welcome recent announcements by Yemeni parties expressing readiness to resume consultations.

There is now an opportunity for peace in Yemen. This building wave of momentum must be seized.

I urge the parties to overcome obstacles and to resolve still existing differences through dialogue at UN-facilitated consultations later this month.

I call on all Member States and other stakeholders to maintain this momentum to move towards an end to the conflict.

We must do all we can now to end human suffering and avoid the worst humanitarian crisis in the world from getting even worse.

Thank you.

**Questions and Answers

Question: Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General.Obviously, this momentum recently started when the United States announced a… like a new position on the peace process in Yemen, so do you think this should be reflected in the Security Council? Because Mr. Griffiths’ last attempt to bring parties together did not go well, so how can you avoid the same result this time, with this momentum?

Secretary-General: We see more and more countries very actively engaged in creating the conditions, or helping to create the conditions, for the parties to understand the need not only of a cessation of hostilities, but to engage in serious political discussions. And obviously, there are moments in which it makes sense to seize the Security Council to obtain the support that is needed for that. I leave that to the members of the Security Council. My objective is to strongly appeal to the parties to the conflict to understand that there is an opportunity that must be seized, and to say that the humanitarian situation is so dire that if that doesn’t happen, we must have indeed next year a situation of famine that is unprecedented in the last decades.

Spokesman: Edie?

Question: Thank you very much, MrSecretary-General. The Saudi-led coalition said today it bombed an airbase adjacent to Sana’a Airport, allegedly being used by Houthi rebels to launch drone and ballistic missile attacks, and there has been intensive fighting in Hodeidah Province. Are youconcerned that recent calls from senior US officials, yourself, and others for a halt to fighting are unleashing intensified coalition attacks, possibly ahead of any kind of a cessation of hostilities? And what is your message to the coalition in response to these latest attacks?

Secretary-General: I think that it is very important that no missiles or other forms of aggression are sent against Saudi Arabia, and it’s very important to stop bombing in urban areas, and it’s very important to preserve basic infrastructure, and obviously, Hodeidah is part of that basic infrastructure.These are our priorities as an immediate step in a cessation of hostilities, and I hope that the parties will understand the need to… all of them, the appeal is to all of them… embark in the cessation of hostilities, sooner rather than later, immediately in our opinion, in order to allow for the political process to start. Obviously, we are not yet there. That is why we are appealing for the kind of military action that is taking place from both sides to end.

Spokesman: Great. Thank you very much.

Correspondent: A follow-up on a ceasefire:Without a total ceasefire, especially to get this Saudi coalition on the ground to come ahead… Without you forcing the Saudi coalition to stop this bombing, I don’t think there can be any peace.

Secretary-General: Well, we are not in a political debate. Our role is to appeal [to] the parties for a cessation of hostilities. This appeal is now echoed by many very important countries around the world, by the international community as a whole. The consequences of going on with this war will be terrible for the Yemeni people. I must say I’m hopeful that the voice of reason will prevail. Thank you very much.


2 November 2018

In just over a decade, more than a thousand journalists have been killed while carrying out their indispensable work. Nine out of ten cases are unresolved, with no one held accountable.

Female journalists are often at greater risk of being targeted not only for their reporting but also because of their gender, including through the threat of sexual violence.

This year alone, at least 88 journalists have been killed.

Many thousands more have been attacked, harassed, detained or imprisoned on spurious charges, without due process.

This is outrageous. This should not become the new normal.

When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.

I am deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity.

I call on Governments and the international community to protect journalists and create the conditions they need to do their work.

On this day, I pay tribute to journalists who do their jobs every day despite intimidation and threats. Their work – and that of their fallen colleagues — reminds us that truth never dies. Neither must our commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Reporting is not a crime.

Together, let us stand up for journalists, for truth and for justice.

المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة إلى اليمن يُرحب بدعوات الاستئناف الفوري للعملية السياسية ووقف الأعمال العدائية في اليمن


يُرحب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة إلى اليمن مارتن غريفيث بالدعوات الأخيرة للاستئناف الفوري للعملية السياسية، والتدابير للتوصل لوقف للأعمال العدائية في اليمن. ويشدد المبعوث الخاص على أنه لا يمكن أن يكون هناك حل عسكري للصراع. وسيواصل المبعوث الخاص العمل مع جميع الأطراف للاتفاق على خطوات ملموسة لتجنيب كل اليمنيين النتائج الكارثية لاستمرار الصراع، وللتعامل على وجه السرعة مع الأزمة السياسية والأمنية والإنسانية في اليمن.

“أحث جميع الأطراف المعنية على اغتنام هذه الفرصة للانخراط بشكل بناء مع جهودنا الحالية لاستئناف المشاورات السياسية على وجه السرعة، من أجل التوصل لاتفاق على إطار للمفاوضات السياسية وعلى تدابير لبناء الثقة، والتي تتضمن على وجه الخصوص: تعزيز قدرات البنك المركزي اليمني وتبادل الأسرى وإعادة فتح مطار صنعاء. وما زلنا ملتزمين بجمع الأطراف اليمنية حول طاولة المفاوضات في غضون شهر، كون الحوار هو الطريق الوحيد للوصول إلى اتفاق شامل. “

ويعبر المبعوث الخاص عن تفاؤله بالانخراط الإيجابي لكل من الحكومة اليمنية وأنصار الله مع جهوده، ويؤكد عزمه مواصلة العمل مع جميع الأطراف المعنية في المنطقة من أجل التوصل إلى تسوية سياسية شاملة لإنهاء الصراع في اليمن.