Millions of Yemenis face a desperate humanitarian situation

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WFP ramping up humanitarian operations in Yemen

Yemen is facing a deteriorating humanitarian situation which could threaten the country's stability, according to United Nations aid agencies.

The ongoing conflicts in the north and south of the country, coupled by drought and high levels of poverty, have left more than half of the country's 24 million people without access to basic services and dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Ten million people in the country do not have sufficient access to food, and more than six million people lack access to basic health care.

More than one million Yemeni children suffer from acute malnutrition, of whom 250,000 are severely affected with risk of death unless immediate assistance is provided.

United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed says the lack of funding and insecurity are making it difficult for aid agencies to respond adequately to the situation in the country.

"It's very clear that the political situation is exacerbating the situation, for instance by creating conflict in the south and in the north, we have problem of access. The government is no longer controlling part of the country. With Al-Qaeda controlling Abiyan, for instance, has deprived the basic service to be provided to the population. WFP today is facing a major problem of funding. They are lacking close to over $100 million and they have even reduced already the ration they are providing to the IDPs and they will not be able to sustain that beyond September."

Only 28 per cent of the $716 million requested to respond to the humanitarian situation in Yemen has been received.

The country is also host to tens of thousands of refugees and migrants who cross the Gulf of Aden in search of economic opportunities in the Gulf region.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva

Duration: 1’45″

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