According to the UN’s deputy humanitarian chief, Yemen’s economy is collapsing, its humanitarian crisis is deteriorating, and the conflict in the Arab world’s poorest country is becoming more brutal.
Assistant Secretary-General Ramesh Rajasingham made the pessimistic remarks at a briefing to the UN Security Council. “More than 20 million Yemenis, or two-thirds of the population, require humanitarian help, but relief organizations are once again, starting to run out of money,” he said.
Aid organizations are currently assisting approximately 13 million individuals across the country, up from about 3 million just a few months ago, according to Rajasingham.
“Our best assessment is that this expansion has considerably pushed back the immediate risk of large-scale famine.”
However, he warned that aid groups do not have enough funds to continue operating at this level, and that up to 4 million individuals might see their food aid reduced in the coming weeks and months,” and, by the end of the year, that figure could climb to 5 million people.
“We are calling on everyone to do everything possible to sustain the momentum we have built over the last several months and keep famine at bay,” Rajasingham said.
Despite a never-ending air campaign and ground battles, the conflict has mostly devolved into a stalemate, resulting in the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
The Houthis started an offensive in the predominantly government-controlled Marib region in early 2020, killing thousands of young people and displacing thousands of residents who live in constant fear of violence and being forced to relocate.
Tribal leaders and Yemeni officials reported on Thursday that fighting over Marib had killed at least 140 combatants on both sides in the last 24 hours. They stated the skirmishes were taking place in the Abdiya and al-Jubah neighborhoods.
At the briefing to the Security Council, Rajasingham said the Houthis “intensified their brutal offensive in Marib, taking more territory there and in neighboring parts of the southern province of Shabwa”.