Famine and fighting will kill 377,000 in Yemen: UN

Afp, Ap and Europa Press

La Jornada newspaper
Wednesday, November 24, 2021, p. 26

Dubai The war in Yemen, which started seven years ago, will have killed 377,000 people directly and indirectly by the end of this year, the United Nations said in a report published yesterday.

Almost 60 percent of the deaths are consequences of the conflict, which has caused lack of drinking water, hunger and disease, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which asserted that Yemen is experiencing the worst and largest catastrophe humanitarian world.

The conflict pits Iranian-backed Houthi rebels against Yemeni government forces, backed since 2015 by a Saudi-led military coalition. The death toll in fighting will exceed 150,000 by the end of 2021, but the number of deaths from hunger and disease is even higher.

A child under the age of five dies every nine minutes in Yemen due to the conflict, while 1.3 million people are threatened with death if a peace agreement is not reached by 2030, UNDP said. The document warns that more than 80 percent of the country’s population requires humanitarian aid.

Some 40,000 people have been forced to flee Marib province, the epicenter of the conflict, since September, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Despite the number of people fleeing there, the dangerous town is home to more than a million displaced people from other areas of the country.

This body declared itself seriously concerned for the safety of civilians in Marib. As combat fronts approach densely populated areas, their lives are in danger and access to humanitarian aid is increasingly difficult, he said.

The displacement exacerbates existing humanitarian needs, and UNHCR highlighted the shortage of food, medicine, drinking water, in addition to the fact that school activities are suspended.

Unhcr teams report that there is intense fighting in the mountains surrounding the city and that explosions and the passing of planes can be heard day and night.

Marib has been a conflict zone since the Houthis launched an offensive last February against this province, which houses important oil reserves, as well as being the only stronghold in northern Yemen where the government is internationally recognized.

This government is headed by Abdo Rabbu Mansur Hadi and supported by an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, a coalition airstrike destroyed a plastic factory in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital under the control of Houthi rebels.

The attack hit a Syrian-owned plant near a hospital in the south of the city, according to the Houthi rebels. No casualties were reported.

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