GENEVA / YEMEN BORDERS

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ENGLISH 14-Nov-2017 00:02:45
The UN and its humanitarian partners are alarmed at the worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen following the temporary closure of land, sea and air borders on 6 November. The blockade in Yemen is resulting in severe shortages of commercial and aid materials reaching the country. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / YEMEN BORDERS
TRT: 2:45
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 NOVEMBER 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. External shot UN Palais
2. Wide shot, meeting room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“With the commercial flows into the country disrupted the prices of essential goods like food and fuel have skyrocketed and this has caused a great deal of suffering and stress to the population. For example in Sana’a fuel prices have increased by 60 per cent and trucked water by 133 per cent. As a result of these increases, the population is suffering but also our own staff and those of our partners are seeing an increase in the number of the civilian seeking humanitarian help”.
4. Wide shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“In Aden where there was shortages of fuel and gas even before the border closures, displaced people are reporting that prices for food have almost doubled, some people now have no choice but to eat less”.
6. Med shot, cameraman
7. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): “Yemen’s conflict which began in March 2015, has produced the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with 21 million people affected. Two million internally displaced people, a million returnees and 280,000 refugees and asylum seekers are all struggling to survive through increasingly prolonged displacement”.
8. Close up, spokesperson
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“As of 8 November 118 suspected cases of diphtheria including 11 were detected in 10 governorates in Yemen. The majority of the cases and of the deaths have been reported in Ibb governorate were lacking or failing coverage of the national child hood immunization program has been reported”.
10. Med shot, spokesperson
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The usual 5 to 10 percent of the cases in fatality has already been reached because we have 118 suspected cases, 11 deaths in 10 governorates. So the spread is unusual, the wide geographic spread, and the case fatality ratio is unusual, even though as we said before, it is normally endemic in Yemen. So this is why the vaccination campaign of course is highly important to catch up on the lacking or failing coverage of the national childhood immunization program. But access, security issues and delivery of material is crucial to this”.
12. Close up, journalist
13. Wide shot, journalists
14. Close up, journalist

STORYLINE:

The UN and its humanitarian partners are alarmed at the worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen following the temporary closure of land, sea and air borders on 6 November. The blockade in Yemen is resulting in severe shortages of commercial and aid materials reaching the country.

Speaking today (14 Nov) to the media at the UN in Geneva, the spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) William Spindler said "with the commercial flows into the country disrupted the prices of essential goods like food and fuel have skyrocketed and this has caused a great deal of suffering and stress to the population. For example in Sana’a fuel prices have increased by 60 per cent and trucked water by 133 per cent. As a result of these increases, the population is suffering but also our own staff and those of our partners are seeing an increase in the number of the civilian seeking humanitarian help.”

The entire population is dependent on food, fuel and medicine imports, which enter the country primarily through seaports.

Spindler said "in Aden where there was shortages of fuel and gas even before the border closures, displaced people are reporting that prices for food have almost doubled, some people now have no choice but to eat less.”

Some 600 to 800 people are approaching now every day UNHCR's supported centre in Sana'a. Before the border closures, they would see 400 to 600 people.

UNHCR's Spindler concluded that “Yemen’s conflict which began in March 2015, has produced the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with 21 million people affected. Two million internally displaced people, a million returnees and 280,000 refugees and asylum seekers are all struggling to survive through increasingly prolonged displacement.”

Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that epidemiologists in the Yemen country office are observing an upsurge in suspected diphtheria cases which are clinically diagnosed, not yet lab-confirmed.

WHO's spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said “as of 8 November 118 suspected cases of diphtheria including 11 were detected in 10 governorates in Yemen. The majority of the cases and of the deaths have been reported in Ibb governorate were lacking or failing coverage of the national child hood immunization program has been reported.”

WHO is planning to start on 18 November a vaccination campaign for children under 5 years. The World Health Organisation is concerned that highly vulnerable populations such as unvaccinated and malnourished persons, a fragile health system, poor living conditions and uncontrolled movement of population will highly likely contribute to the spread of the outbreak.

Christian Lindmeier explained that “the usual 5 to 10 percent of the cases in fatality has already been reached because we have 118 suspected cases, 11 deaths in 10 governorates. So the spread is unusual, the wide geographic spread, and the case fatality ratio is unusual, even though as we said before, it is normally endemic in Yemen. So this is why the vaccination campaign of course is highly important to catch up on the lacking or failing coverage of the national childhood immunization program. But access, security issues and delivery of material is crucial to this.”

Furthermore, Yemen is currently in the grip of the world's worst cholera outbreak. Without the import of critical commodities through a lifting of the blockade on all ports, including Hudaydah and Saleef, the situation will deteriorate further. More than two-thirds of people in Yemen are in need and more than 80 per cent of all cholera cases are located in the areas closest to Hudaydah and Saleef sea ports, according to UN.
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unifeed171114a
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