"We need to do more" says UN relief chief in Yemen

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Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (left), during a visit to Al Hudaydah hospital in Yemen. Photo: OCHA Yemen

The international community "must do more to deliver" life-saving humanitarian aid to Yemeni civilians, especially when it comes to the shattered health care system, said the UN relief chief on Tuesday.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien was speaking at the end of a three-day visit to the country where four of out five people are in need.

Matthew Wells reports.

Mr O'Brien said that in the 21st Century, the sheer scale of Yemen's humanitarian crisis was "outrageous by any measure."

He called on all of the warring parties to protect civilians and grant access to the UN and its partners, so they could "deliver in this protracted emergency".

Three million have been displaced, thousands killed and injured and the infrastructure shattered he said.

He described as "heart-breaking" a visit to the Al Hudaydah hospital, where he saw mothers bringing their malnourished children for treatment, only to find there were not enough medicines to go round.

Fighting intensified early last year when a Saudi-led coalition began bombing areas controlled by Houthi rebel fighters, in support of government troops.

So far this year, 4 million people have received aid, but the country's Humanitarian Response Plan is only 46 per cent funded.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 48″

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