Activation of highest level of emergency response in Yemen

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

The highest level of emergency response, level 3, has been activated by the UN and international non-government organizations working together in Yemen.

This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises.

4.4 million Yemenis have reportedly been reached with aid in the past three months, but the UN says this is a fraction of those in need.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

All UN agencies have agreed to declare a level 3 emergency response for Yemen, the highest possible and equal to the level of response in Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan.

In the past three months, some 3,000 Yemenis have been killed, half of them civilians, and 14,000 injured.

Over a million people have had to flee their homes and 21 million need immediate help.

In a statement, the UN Secretary-General repeated his call for an immediate end to the fighting in Yemen to help stem the unfolding of what he called a "humanitarian catastrophe" in the country.

He called on the parties to agree, at the very minimum, on an immediate pause in hostilities until the end of the holy month of Ramadan so that aid can be delivered into and across Yemen.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 52″

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