The United Nations on Wednesday raised 1 er July to its highest level humanitarian emergency in Yemen, a country ravaged by a war between Shiite rebels and the government. Only three other countries in the world are placed at this level 3 emergency humanitarian: Iraq, Syria and South Sudan
According to the UN, more than 21.1 million Yemenis. now require humanitarian assistance – 80% of the population – 13 million of them are suffering from food shortages and 9.4 million have reduced access to water. Last week, the UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, had alarmed the fact that the country was “on the brink of starvation” . The UN emergency rescue plan includes priority 11.7 million of the most needy Yemenis, said a spokesman for the organization.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called in vain on many occasions a humanitarian truce in the fighting between the end of March the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels. Wednesday again, Shiite rebels firing rockets targeted a neighborhood of Aden, in the south of the country, killing at least 20 civilians.
The UN has also asked that Saudi Arabia eases the naval blockade it imposes on Yemeni ports to allow more commercial vessels to supply the country. Yemen is 90% dependent on imports for its fuel and food.