GENEVA / YEMEN BEASLEY

04-Dec-2018 00:02:08
The head of the World Food Programme David Beasley said today the WFP is preparing for “a worst case scenario” in Yemen, which would be if the Hodeidah port becomes “unoperational.” UNTV CH
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STORY: BEASLEY YEMEN
TRT: 2:08
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 04 DECEMBER 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations, cloudy.
2. Wide shot, journalists, podium.
3. Close up, journalists’ faces
4. SOUNDBITE (English) David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“I sensed…from all sides: exhaustion, mentally, spiritually, physically about this war. I think from the ones I have talked to, they are yearning for a solution and let’s hope that these peace talks that start tomorrow, the day after, will yield to a path forward to providing some hope for the children of this country.”
5. Med shot, back of journalists and presser.
6. SOUNDBITE (English) David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We are only feeding about one-third of the population. Well what do the other two-thirds do? They get their food from the outside as well, because it is a country where 90 per cent of everything comes from the outside world.”
7. Med shot, journalists.
8. SOUNDBITE (English) David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We have - and are making - plans on one of the worst-case scenario. Worst-case scenario would be that the port becomes unoperational. So we are making plans, working with the different ports of access in Saudi Arabia, in Oman. Aden is at max capacity right now.”
9. Medium shot, journalists.
10. SOUNDBITE (English) David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Put that in context of a mother going to the store to buy something to eat for her children. That means the cost of her basic food has sky-rocketed. Well if you are a wealthy family maybe you can handle that, but this is a country where eight million livelihoods have been lost since the war.”
11. Close up, back of journalist, fades to podium
12. Med shot, TV cameras.
13. Med shot, podium, journalists.
STORYLINE
Speaking in Geneva after a recent visit to the war-torn country, WFP Executive Director David Beasley’s comments amid an international push to convene peace talks in Sweden this week.

“I sensed - from all sides - exhaustion, mentally, spiritually, physically about this war,” Mr Beasley said. “I think from the ones I have talked to, they are yearning for a solution and let’s hope that these peace talks that start tomorrow, the day after, will yield to a path forward to providing some hope for the children of this country.”

Having visited Government-held Aden in the south, opposition-held Sana’a in the north, and the embattled Red Sea port of Hudaydah in the west in the last two weeks, the WFP chief underscored the food insecurity “catastrophe” that has affected millions of civilians.

“We are only feeding about one-third of the population,” he said. “Well, what do the other two-thirds do? They get their food from the outside as well, because it is a country where 90 per cent of everything comes from the outside world.” The fate of embattled Hudaydah remains a key concern for humanitarians, given that it is a “lifeline for 29 million people”, Beasley insisted, before describing it as “ghost town”.

For the time being, WFP delivers aid there just once a month, to prevent families from having to venture out of their homes and into the line of fire. In the event that it proves impossible to shift aid from Hudaydah, other “worst-case scenarios” have also been considered, Beasley said.

“We have - and are making - plans on one of the worst-case scenario. Worst-case scenario would be that the port becomes unoperational. So, we are making plans, working with the different ports of access in Saudi Arabia, in Oman. Aden is at max (sic) capacity right now.”

In addition to humanitarian aid, Mr Beasley insisted that what Yemen needs most is sustained economic support from the international community. Before conflict began in 2015 between Yemen Government forces and Houthi opposition militia, the exchange rate of the national currency, the rial, was around 215 to $1, he said.

A few weeks ago, that rate had more than quadrupled, to 720 rials, the WFP Executive Director explained, though it has since dropped.This has caused severe problems for eight million ordinary Yemenis who have lost their jobs since the fighting escalated in March 2015.

“Put that in context of a mother going to the store to buy something to eat for her children,” Beasley said. “That means the cost of her basic food has sky-rocketed. Well if you are a wealthy family maybe you can handle that, but this is a country where eight million livelihoods have been lost since the war.”

According to the WFP chief, a child dies in Yemen every 10 to 11 minutes.
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