"Respect vital pause in hostilities" in Yemen, calls top UN official

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Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sanaa after a series of airstrikes (12 May). Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

The beginning of a pause in hostilities in Yemen should enable UN agencies and their partners to step up the delivery of lifesaving assistance to people in desperate need, according to the UN humanitarian office, OCHA.

The five day so-called humanitarian pause which began in the Middle Eastern country on Tuesday at 11pm local time is scheduled to run until Sunday.

Insecurity and the shortage of fuel have been hindering the delivery of aid to conflict-affected communities.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The top UN humanitarian official, Valerie Amos, is calling on all parties to the conflict to respect what she called "this vital pause in hostilities".

She said it will provide a respite for civilians and allow the delivery of food, medical supplies and other essential items to people who have been trapped in conflict zones.

Fighting between government forces and rebels has left some 12 million people without enough food.

Ms Amos requested humanitarian assistance be routed through existing UN and international humanitarian organization channels, given the role of the Organization in coordinating relief activities in an impartial and neutral way.

Meanwhile, the members of the UN Security Council called on the Secretary-General to convene a conference of all Yemeni stakeholders, with the intention of brokering a political solution to Yemen's crisis.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 57″

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