Yemen is collapsing, UN warns

Yemen is collapsing, UN warns

The United Nation’s top humanitarian co-ordinator has said Yemen is facing “total social, economic and institutional collapse.”

Stephen O’Brien was speaking to the UN security council, telling members that “urgent action is required”.

Yemen is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, with almost seven million people on the brink of famine.

An outbreak of cholera has also killed 500 people, and the UN expects 150,000 cases in the next six months.

“The crisis is not coming. It is not even looming. It is here today on our watch and ordinary people are paying the price,” O’Brien said.

“What is worse is the threat of famine is driven and exacerbated by conflict. Yemen is not facing a drought. If there was no conflict in Yemen there would be no descent into famine, misery, disease and death.”

The UN is negotiating to stop the conflict from spreading to the port city of Hodeidah, where some 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive.

An attack there, the UN said, would lead to “a devastating loss of civilian life.”

For the past two years, the country has been embroiled in fighting between forces loyal to the internationally recognised president, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and Shia Houthi rebels.

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