GENEVA / YEMEN UPDATE

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10-Feb-2017 00:02:26
The United Nations (UN) is warning that a humanitarian catastrophe looms in Yemen, as the conditions in the country deteriorate due to heavy fighting. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / YEMEN UPDATE
TRT: 2:26
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 FEBRUARY 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“While the intense fighting - both ground fighting and air strikes - made it impossible for our staff in Yemen to access the area and to verify the number of civilians casualties, credible reports indicate the civilians were caught in an intolerable situation between the warring parties.”
4. Close up, journalist
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“There are credible records indicating that Houthi-affiliated snipers shot at families attempting to flee their homes in Houthi-controlled areas, so affectively the Houthis were using civilians as human shields”.
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Reports also indicate that pro-government forces yesterday took over the Al Maghini and Al Hali areas of Al Mokha city, effectively placing the whole city and the port under Government control. The last shelling incident that we are aware of was recorded last night around 11 pm”.
8. Close up, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“As a result more than 34, 000 people have fled their homes, some 28,000 have been displaced within Taizz governorate while another 2, 600 individuals have fled to the neighbouring governorate of Al Hudaydah. A few have also been displaced to Lahj and Ibb governorates ”.
10. Medium, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) William Spindler, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“We are also currently negotiating deliveries of emergency assistance to 6 342 individuals in Maqbanah, in Taizz governorate. But owing to the ongoing military operations, humanitarian access remains a key challenge. But we have been engaging in intense negotiations with the relevant authorities to deliver assistance in hard to reach areas”.
12. Close up, journalist
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Fadela Chaib, Spokesperson for the World Health Organisation (WHO):
“We have more than 14.8 million people lacking access to basic health care in Yemen and at least 274 facilities have been completely destroyed during the current conflict. Health care workers have not received their salaries regularly for about six months”.
14. Medium shot, journalists

STORYLINE:

The United Nations (UN) is warning that a humanitarian catastrophe looms in Yemen, as the conditions in the country deteriorate due to heavy fighting.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (10 Feb) Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that “while the intense fighting - both ground fighting and air strikes - made it impossible for our staff in Yemen to access the area and to verify the number of civilians casualties, credible reports indicate the civilians were caught in an intolerable situation between the warring parties giving them opposing instructions.”

Civilians are trapped and targeted by intense fighting in the southwestern port of Al Mokha in Taizz governorate, according to OHCHR. Extremely worrying reports suggest that civilians and civilian objects have been targeted, in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, over the past two weeks.

OHCHR spokesperson reported “there are credible records indicating that Houthi-affiliated snipers shot at families attempting to flee their homes in Houthi-controlled areas, so effectively the Houthis were using civilians as human shields.”

Colville said that “reports also indicate that pro-government forces today took over the Al Maghini and Al Hali areas of Al Mokha city, affectively placing the whole city and the port under Government control. The last shelling incident that we are aware of was recorded last night around 11 pm”.

Since the fighting in the western governorate of Taizz is spreading inland, more people are fleeing their homes, reported the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

William Spindler, UNHCR spokesperson said “as a result more than 34, 000 people have fled their homes, some 28,000 have been displaced within Taizz governorate while another 2, 600 individuals have fled to the neighbouring governorate of Al Hudaydah.”

He added that “a few have also been displaced to Lahj and Ibb governorates”.

UNHCR is currently negotiating deliveries of emergency assistance to 6, 342 individuals in Maqbanah, in Taizz governorate.

But owing to the ongoing military operations, Spindler said “humanitarian access remains a key challenge”.

“We have been engaging in intense negotiations with the relevant authorities to deliver assistance in hard to reach areas”.
UNHCR has mobilised assessment teams across displacement sites and began deliveries of emergency assistance, including basic relief items and emergency shelter.

Due to the fact that the country is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, UNHCR is appealing for urgent international support to respond to critical needs for the operations in Yemen.

The Refugee Agency has received only USD 738,303 of the USD 99,6 million needed for their humanitarian response in Yemen in 2017.

The situation of health care in Yemen also looks bleak, said Fadela Chaib, spokesperson of the World Health Organization (WHO).

She said “we have more than 14,8 million people lacking access to basic health care in Yemen and at least 274 facilities have been completely destroyed during the current conflict. Health care workers have not received their salaries regularly for about six months.”

UNICEF reported that 1, 400 children died in the conflict and more than 2,140 children were severely injured or maimed and at least 1,400 kids were recruited.
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