Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – based on UN website, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator told the Security Council on Wednesday that peace is “the only way” to resolve the crisis in Yemen.
Mark Lowcock, who also serves as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said via videoconference that the war is “ultimately behind the risk of famine, the spread of disease and economic collapse”.
With millions of people on the brink of starvation and COVID-19 sweeping the country, “more violence is the last thing Yemen needs”, he said, calling for a nationwide ceasefire “right now”.
The humanitarian crisis is trapping Yemenis in a “relentless downward spiral”, Mr. Lowcock added, pointing to famine “stalking the country”, COVID-19 pushing the healthcare system to collapse, and unabated war “making everything else much worse”.
“I want to be clear that famine, disease and other miseries are not simply ‘happening’ in Yemen”, he said, “the war is imposing them”.
A ceasefire, opening the ports and opening Sana’a airport, would go “a long way towards alleviating people’s suffering”, explained the UN official, adding that these measures could also set the country “on a path towards a more sustainable peace”.
As required under international humanitarian law, he underscored to need to protect civilians while reiterating the importance of humanitarian access.