News / Middle East

Improving Humanitarian Situation Critical to Yemen's Stability

Women collect water from a rain-water pond on the outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen, May 8, 2013.
Women collect water from a rain-water pond on the outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen, May 8, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
— Senior U.N. officials say improving humanitarian conditions in Yemen is critical for the country's future stability.  The officials say the international community can help the fractured country by supporting the short-term and long-term needs of millions of destitute people.

Yemen is one of the poorest, most deprived countries in the world.  The United Nations reports 14.7 million people, more than half the population, needs assistance this year. 

It said millions had no access to safe drinking water and that Yemen has the second highest rate of malnutrition in the world, with one million children under age five suffering from growth-stunting or acute malnutrition.

The U.N. is appealing for $591 million to provide humanitarian aid for about half of these destitute Yemenis.

Women and children gather to collect water from a tap at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in al-Mazraq in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajja, May 20, 2013.Women and children gather to collect water from a tap at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in al-Mazraq in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajja, May 20, 2013.
x
Women and children gather to collect water from a tap at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in al-Mazraq in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajja, May 20, 2013.
Women and children gather to collect water from a tap at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in al-Mazraq in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajja, May 20, 2013.
In addition, Yemen is hosting nearly a quarter-million registered refugees from the Horn of Africa, mainly from Somalia.  It also cares for 400,000 people forced to flee their homes because of conflicts in the north and south of the country. 

U.N. officials report progress is being made toward political solutions for these conflicts, and this bodes well for the future stability of the country. 

The U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed,  said the international community had an opportunity to help stabilize Yemen - an opportunity that he said should not be missed.

“In order to stabilize Yemen, we need to realize unless we create jobs for the young, the youth - unless we are able to provide food assistance for those life-saving activities or health.  You know close to eight-million people today cannot have adequate access to health, medical facilities.  So, if we do not address these, I am saying then we will not be able to stabilize the country," said Ahmed.

Director of the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen Trond Jensen concurred with this assessment.  He noted the political process, which has been going on for close to two years, was very fragile.  He said people had to see a real change in their lives for that process not to fail.

“There is a huge number of hungry people.  There are huge numbers of people who do not have access to the most basic of services, who do not have access to rule of law - to protection, etc., and that has the potential to undermine the political process. And in that process, I think it is important that the international community stand by the government of Yemen to make sure that those gains - call them peace dividends if you like -- that there are tangible progress for the average Yemeni in terms of having access to food, not having to starve, not having to see the children suffer,” he said. 

Jensen said the U.N. humanitarian operation would emphasize life-saving support for the most vulnerable people. 

But after the immediate needs are met, he said, U.N. agencies would move toward recovery.  That, he said, would include building resilience in communities, efforts to remove landmines, and restoring rural livelihoods.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid