GENEVA / YEMEN UPDATE

12-Jan-2018 00:02:07
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today called on the Saudi-led coalition to continue keeping Yemen’s Red Sea ports of Al Hudaydah and Saleef open. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / YEMEN UPDATE
TRT: 2:07
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATTS

DATELINE: 12 JANUARY 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
”Since 20 December last year, when the Saudi-led coalition announced that they would keep Yemen's Red Sea ports of Al-Hudaydah and Saleef open for a period of one month for both humanitarian and commercial cargo, since then 13 vessels have delivered food and much needed fuel through these two ports”.
4. Med shot, journalist
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“A total of 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance. Over 70 per cent of them live in proximity to Al-Hudaydah and Saleef ports. Overall, Yemen imports about 90 per cent of its staple food and nearly all its fuel and medicine. Therefore, the functioning of all ports - including Al-Hudaydah, Saleef and Aden in the south - is critical to meet vital needs, the Humanitarian Coordinator said”.
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“This is a man-made disaster from A-Z when we talk about 22 million people, that is almost the entirety of the population, then it is critical, I think, to understand that it is man-made, we need a political solution and we welcome any and all efforts to fight such a solution. In the meantime, as we say in our statement today, it is critical that these ports are kept open and that we can increase both commercial and humanitarian imports through them”.
8. Med shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, Spokesperson for the World Health Organisation (WHO):
“Diphtheria, we had a vaccination campaign together with UNICEF around the end of 2017, but again the rapid spread of Diphtheria and of Cholera, of course, in Yemen highlights major gaps in vaccination campaigns or even routine vaccination campaigns like Diphtheria should be part of and signifies that the health system, the complete response system, is disrupted”.
10. Med shot, journalists
STORYLINE
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today called on the Saudi-led coalition to continue keeping Yemen’s Red Sea ports of Al Hudaydah and Saleef open.

Speaking today to media in Geneva, OCHA’s spokesperson Jens Laerke said that ”since 20 December last year, when the Saudi-led coalition announced that they would keep Yemen's Red Sea ports of Al-Hudaydah and Saleef open for a period of one month for both humanitarian and commercial cargo, since then 13 vessels have delivered food and much needed fuel through these two ports”.

The vessels have been mainly commercial and more deliveries are in the pipeline.

For the Yemen Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie Mc Goldrick, the development is positive. However, it is far less than what is needed to meet overall food and fuel needs. The commercial import of fuel in December was 92 per cent below the regular monthly average.

Laerke emphasized that “this is a man-made disaster from A-Z when we talk about 22 million people, that is almost the entirety of the population, then it is critical, I think, to understand that it is man-made, we need a political solution and we welcome any and all efforts to fight such a solution. In the meantime, as we say in our statement today, it is critical that these ports are kept open and that we can increase both commercial and humanitarian imports through them”.

The spokesperson said “the steady flow of imports is a lifeline for millions of vulnerable Yemeni people. A total of 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance.”

He added that “over 70 per cent of them live in proximity to Al-Hudaydah and Saleef ports. Overall, Yemen imports about 90 per cent of its staple food and nearly all its fuel and medicine. Therefore, the functioning of all ports - including Al-Hudaydah, Saleef and Aden in the south - is critical to meet vital needs, the Humanitarian Coordinator said”.

The UN also welcomes the Saudi-led Coalition’s approval to move four cranes to Hudaydah port which will enhance the capacity of the port, and allow for faster off-loading of vessels and thus help avert an even greater humanitarian disaster. According the World Food Programme, the cranes are expected to arrive in Hudaydah port around 15 January.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Yemen has more than 1 million and 30, 000 suspected Cholera cases. They are associated with 2, 241 deaths. It is considered as the worst Cholera outbreak on record.

Regarding diphtheria, there are 610 clinically diagnosed cases with 48 deaths in less than 4 months, which brings a case fatality rate of 8 %.

WHO’s spokesperson Christian Lindmeier today said that “diphtheria, we had a vaccination campaign together with UNICEF around the end of 2017, but again the rapid spread of Diphtheria and of Cholera, of course, in Yemen highlights major gaps in vaccination campaigns or even routine vaccination campaigns like Diphtheria should be part of and signifies that the health system, the complete response system, is disrupted”.
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