YEMEN / HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

17-Feb-2017 00:01:07
Deaths through famine and lack of medical attention in Yemen are being aggravated as the UN Refugee Agency relief operations are just one per cent funded. UNHCR
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STORY: YEMEN / HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
TRT: 01:07
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 FEBRUARY 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / RECENT
SHOTLIST
02 FEBRUARY 2017, YEMEN

1 Various shots, destruction

17 FEBRUARY 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Ayman Gharaibeh, Representative in Yemen, United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR):
“Certainly without resources we are not useful at all being in Yemen. We need to be able to identify needs, identifying who is deserving of these needs, and make sure that we respond. There is significant famine. There are people dying because of lack of medical attention. There are people who are simply out of school simply because the schools are being used as shelters for displaced people. So, every aspect of life is impacting them. Without this it really means that we will have more and more people languishing on the streets and that’s certainly an unstable Yemen is not going to be a stable region and that’s not in the interest of any of its neighbours.”


02 FEBRUARY 2017, YEMEN

3. Various shots, destruction
STORYLINE
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said people in war-ravaged Yemen are dying of famine and lack of medical attention in a situation now “beyond any humanitarian catastrophe,” warning the crisis would likely worsen as humanitarian needs are acutely underfunded.

Speaking today (17 Feb) in Geneva UNHCR’s representative in Yemen Ayman Gharaibeh said “there is significant famine, there are people dying because of lack of medical attention, there are people who are out of schools simply because the schools are being used as shelters for displaced people.”

War reignited in the country of 27 million people in March 2015, creating a situation where fully two-thirds of the population – or some 18 million people - are now dependent on external aid in order to survive.

The situation facing many of the three million people displaced from their homes in Yemen is essentially a struggle for survival – food, water and shelter are priority.

Many are now enduring miserable and inadequate conditions living in overcrowded or makeshift shelters for months on end and without sufficient protection.

Providing an effective response is currently being hindered by an acute funding shortfall that has left UNHCR with just one per cent of the (USD) 99.6 million it needs to continue its vital relief operations in the year ahead.

In an example of the impact the funding shortage was having, Gharaibeh said UNHCR would not be able to follow through with financial assistance to some 2,000 vulnerable widows identified as in need.

He said “without resources we are not useful at all in Yemen. We need to be able to identify needs, identify who is deserving … and make sure we are able to respond.”

The current situation has been compounded by decades of neglect, which has left weak institutions, poor government, and a feeble economy.

Gharaibeh added “every aspect of life is impacted and without this, it really means that we will have more and more people languishing in the streets. An unstable Yemen is not going to be a stable region, and that’s not in the interest of any of its neighbours.”
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