The UN official who is the Humanitarian and Residential Coordinator in Yemen, David Gressly, said the ongoing conflict and violence in Yemen has had a major impact on people who are desperate to get their lives back on track. Gressly spoke in Geneva on Monday (11/10), a day after a car bomb explosion in the port city of Aden killed at least 25 people and injured 110.
“I saw the destruction of schools, factories, roads, bridges and also the electrical system. The things that seven years ago made Yemen work, are no longer there,” he said.
The former aid worker warned of a recent escalation of fighting in the oil-rich northern province of Marib. “This adds to the number of displaced people in the area, which has actually reached one million people.”
He also described pockets of territory where fighting was still going on for which the UN was unable to deliver aid. A long-standing concern is the potential for acute famine in Yemen. The United Nations in March had called for up to $3.5 billion to be raised to help tackle the acute famine, but so far only $2.1 billion has been raised. The UN promised to provide an additional $500-600 million.
Gressly said Yemenis need more than just emergency services such as health, education, clean water, access and support for refugees within the country itself, and life support. The budget to fund all these things, he added, only reached under 20 percent. “We can’t ignore this!” said Gressly. [em/jm]