UN / YEMEN

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17-Jun-2019 00:03:37
Top United Nations political and humanitarian officials painted a dire situation in Yemen as they called for renewed efforts to end the 4-year-long conflict. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / YEMEN
TRT: 03:37
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 17 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

17 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen:
“The longer the conflict goes on, the more challenges and the greater difficulties we will face in resolving it and reversing its terrible effect on the people of Yemen. The continued dialogue between the parties to implement the Stockholm agreement is significant, but it is not enough for the Yemeni people. They want their suffering to end now and not tomorrow.”
4. Wide shot, Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Unfortunately, humanitarian organizations can’t do much more than keep people alive, and we have been reasonably successful at doing that. In early 2017 we were providing aid to about 3 million people every month. Two years later we are now reaching more than 10 million a month. Working with local institutions, we rolled back the risk of famine in some areas, we stemmed the world’s largest cholera outbreak, and we’ve greatly increased the number of malnourished children who have been treated and cures. But, as the conflict continues, underlying conditions keep deteriorating.”
6. Med shot, South African representative
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Nothing will change in Yemen unless everyone is ready to do things very differently. The steps I outlined above, are the way to start. Otherwise you can expect more of what you’ve been hearing for the last four years. More fighting, more death, more destruction, more hunger, more disease, more appeals, more pledging conferences, more briefings like this one.”
8. Wide shot, Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme:
“I hope someday I can come here to brief you on some good news, conflict ending, well-fed and healthy children, but regrettably, today’s not today. The humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire. And despite the immense suffering of the 20 million Yemenis who do not have enough to eat, we continue to face fierce resistance to simply just do our job to keep people alive”
10. Wide shot, Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme:
“We are now assisting, feeding more than 10 million people a month. But as the Head of the World Food Programme, I cannot assure you that all the assistance is going to those who need it most. Why? Because we are not allowed to operate independently. And because aid is being diverted for profit, and, or other purposes. The bottom line is this: food is being taken from the mouths of hungry little girls and little boys who need it just to survive.”
12. Wide shot, Council
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, Permanent Representative of Yemen to the United Nations:
“What can you expect from militias who will steal food from the mouths of citizens, from the mouths of children, from the mouths of orphans, women and children; those who actively work to disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid; whose main goal is to either rule the Yemeni people or kill the Yemeni people? They don’t believe in peace or dialogue. They have a known agenda. Their agenda is sectarianism and to sow discrimination within Yemeni society.”
14. Wide shot, Council

STORYLINE:

Top United Nations political and humanitarian officials today (17 Jun) painted a dire situation in Yemen as they called for renewed efforts to end the 4-year-long conflict.

Addressing the Security Council via video link, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths said, “the longer the conflict goes on, the more challenges and the greater difficulties we will face in resolving it and reversing its terrible effect on the people of Yemen.”

Focussing on the historic breakthrough talks of last December in Sweden, which led to the fragile ceasefire in and around the crucial port city of Hudaydah, Griffiths said that the number of civilian casualties had gone down by 68 per cent, comparing June with last December.

He welcomed the “continued dialogue” between the parties to implement the Stockholm agreement, but said it was “not enough for the Yemeni people” as “they want their suffering to end now and not tomorrow.”

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, told the Council that “unfortunately, humanitarian organizations can’t do much more than keep people alive” but “have been reasonably successful at doing that.”

Lowcock noted that in early 2017 humanitarian organizations were providing aid to about 3 million people every month and are now reaching more than 10 million a month.

He said, “we rolled back the risk of famine in some areas, we stemmed the world’s largest cholera outbreak, and we’ve greatly increased the number of malnourished children who have been treated and cures. But, as the conflict continues, underlying conditions keep deteriorating.”

After outlining the steps necessary to stem the tide, Lowcock said, “nothing will change in Yemen unless everyone is ready to do things very differently”

He said that unless these steps are followed, “you can expect more of what you’ve been hearing for the last four years. More fighting, more death, more destruction, more hunger, more disease, more appeals, more pledging conferences, more briefings like this one.”

Opening his briefing to the Council, the World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director (English) David Beasley said “I hope someday I can come here to brief you on some good news, conflict ending, well-fed and healthy children, but regrettably, today’s not today. “

He said, “the humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire. And despite the immense suffering of the 20 million Yemenis who do not have enough to eat, we continue to face fierce resistance to simply just do our job to keep people alive”

Beasley noted that it was 18 months ago when WFP first uncovered evidence that food aid was being diverted.

He said, “we are now assisting, feeding more than 10 million people a month. But as the Head of the World Food Programme, I cannot assure you that all the assistance is going to those who need it most. Why? Because we are not allowed to operate independently. And because aid is being diverted for profit, and, or other purposes. The bottom line is this: food is being taken from the mouths of hungry little girls and little boys who need it just to survive.”

For his part, Yemeni Ambassador, Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, said, “what can you expect from militias who will steal food from the mouths of citizens, from the mouths of children, from the mouths of orphans, women and children; those who actively work to disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid; whose main goal is to either rule the Yemeni people or kill the Yemeni people? They don’t believe in peace or dialogue. They have a known agenda. Their agenda is sectarianism and to sow discrimination within Yemeni society.”

Yemen has been facing a tragic and complex political military crisis since uprisings broke out in 2011, with grave implications for the country’s future and the whole region.

The Yemen war intensified in early 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition joined the Government fight against Houthi rebels, instituting an aerial bombing campaign.
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