GENEVA / YEMEN UPDATE

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17-May-2019 00:01:26
UN agencies strongly condemned Thursday’s airstrikes on Yemen’s capital Sana’s that reportedly killed five children and injured dozens more. The agencies also warned of the “brutal toll” on civilians of more than four years of conflict. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / YEMEN UPDATE
TRT: 1:26
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 MAY 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, Room III
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Several people were killed and dozens were injured when airstrikes hit Sana’a city. The preliminary reports we have last night indicate that five children had died and 16 more were wounded. Additional casualties including healthworkers have been recorded.”
4. Wide shot, podium
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“I have no indication yet of the exact locations where they hit. Several neighbourhoods hit in Sana’a city. That is close as I can get this morning.”
6. Wide shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Refugees are known to be among those injured and affected. A Somali refugee woman and her daughter are among those now receiving critical treatment in a hospital.”
8. Close up, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Verhoosel, spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP): “We need more access because we need to come with additional trucks and machinery to the mills. We have taken another route this time to access the mills than the time before to avoid the frontline; that was easier to come from the other side. That is potentially what we will do for the future access also.”
10. Various shots, journalists

STORYLINE:

UN agencies strongly condemned Thursday’s (16 May) airstrikes on Yemen’s capital Sana’s that reportedly killed five children and injured dozens more. The agencies also warned of the “brutal toll” on civilians of more than four years of conflict.

Speaking to reporters today in Geneva today (17 May), spokesperson of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Jens Laerke said, “several people were killed and dozens were injured when airstrikes hit Sana’a city,” echoing a statement on the atrocity by Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator in Yemen, Laerke noted that “preliminary reports we have last night indicate that five children had died and 16 more were wounded. Additional casualties including healthworkers have been recorded.”

Details of the attacks on Sana’a remain scant, Laerke said, “I have no indication yet of the exact locations where they hit,” adding that “several neighbourhoods hit in Sana’a city. That is close as I can get this morning.”

The OCHA spokesperson’s comments follow an appeal by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to the UN Security Council on Wednesday (15 May) to save the lives of 15 million children in the war-torn country.

More than four years of fighting have left at least 7,300 children killed or seriously injured, Henrietta Fore, head of the UN Children’s Fund, told the Council’s 15 members, noting that as these were officially verified figures, the true numbers “are no doubt higher.”

Also in Geneva, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, appealed for combatants to respect the protection of civilians and respect their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The agency’s spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said, “refugees are known to be among those injured and affected,” adding that “a Somali refugee woman and her daughter are among those now receiving critical treatment in a hospital.”

Mahecic added that there are more than 275,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in the country, and more than nine in 10 are from the Horn of Africa state.

Amid ongoing insecurity in Yemen, millions of people remain on the brink of starvation, as access problems hinder the work of humanitarians to deliver food, fuel and medicines.

The majority of these supplies are imported via the country’s embattled Red Sea ports Hudaydah, Saleef and Ras Issa, from where Houthi opposition militia - also referred to as Ansar Allah - redeployed earlier this week under a UN-led agreement sealed last December, UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Wednesday.

Providing an update on the status of Hudaydah’s damaged Red Sea Mills, where millions of tonnes of wheat have been inaccessible until recently owing to the fighting, spokesperson Herve Verhoosel from the World Food Programme (WFP) said that repairs to silos and machinery were nearing completion.

He said, “we need more access because we need to come with additional trucks and machinery to the mills,” adding that “we have taken another route this time to access the mills than the time before to avoid the frontline; that was easier to come from the other side. That is potentially what we will do for the future access also.”

As long as WFP’s operations are able to proceed unimpeded, “we hope in the near future we will be able to start milling the wheat and then begin transporting it to the people who need it most,” Verhoosel added, in an appeal for “continued, sustained safe passage” for the UN staff.
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unifeed190517b
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