GENEVA / YEMEN DISPLACED

26-Feb-2021 00:02:19
Aid organisations are warning of a potential humanitarian disaster as hostilities rise and civilians flee the fighting in and around the city of Marib, some 120 kilometers east of the Yemeni capital Sana’a. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / YEMEN DISPLACED
TRT: 2:19
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 26 FEBRUARY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
26 FEBRUARY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Amid intensified clashes in Yemen’s Marib region UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling for a safe passage for the fleeing civilians. Fighting parties must spare no effort to protect the population caught in the conflict and ease its impact on civilians.”
4. Med shot, journalists in press briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Out of four million IDPs in Yemen, nearly 2.6 million are just a step away from famine. Most IDPs are sheltering in parts of the country assessed to have acute food shortages or famine-like conditions.”
6. Med shot, spokesperson in press briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“The existing sites for internally displaced are already overcrowded, and the humanitarian response is overstretched. More than 800,000 displaced Yemenis have been taking refuge in this part of the country. Most of them have been sheltering there since the start of the conflict in 2015.”
8. Med shot, journalist in press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Life in Yemen is getting more desperate and dangerous by the day. Based on UNHCR’s assessments, 64 per cent of displaced families have no resources of an income. Others earn less than 50 US dollars a month to make ends meet. Consequently, two out of three displaced families say they need to resort to harmful coping mechanisms just to survive. They limit or skip their meals; they take children out of school and forego medical attention. Some end up begging or selling whatever they have. Child marriages are on the rise.”
10. Wide shot, press briefing room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Paul Dillon, spokesperson, International Organization for Migration (IOM):
“The International Organization for Migration is watching with growing alarm as increasing numbers of people are displaced in Yemen adding to the already worrisome food security concerns there. Hostilities in Yemen’s Marib governorate have led to the displacement of at least 9, 000 people in recent weeks, bringing the total number of displacements in that part of the country to more than 117,000 people.”
12. Med shot, WFP spokesperson in press briefing room
13. Wide shot, spokesperson at dais with screen
14. Med shot, journalist in press briefing room
STORYLINE
Aid organisations are warning of a potential humanitarian disaster as hostilities rise and civilians flee the fighting in and around the city of Marib, some 120 kilometers east of the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

“Amid intensified clashes in Yemen’s Marib region UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling for a safe passage for the fleeing civilians. Fighting parties must spare no effort to protect the population caught in the conflict and ease its impact on civilians,” said Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), speaking to journalists at a news briefing today (26 Feb) at the United Nations in Geneva.

These developments are coming ahead of a UN high-level pledging event for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen on 1 March, which will be co-hosted by Sweden and Switzerland.

Marib is a strategically important gas and oil-rich city near the Saudi Arabian border, where rebel Houthi forces are making a drive to take the internationally-recognised government’s last stronghold in northern Yemen.

The increasing insecurity is hindering the delivery of aid to civilians in Marib, with dire consequences for the most vulnerable among them. A growing number of displaced Yemenis are now facing severe food insecurity, according to the UN’s refugee agency.

“Out of four million IDPs in Yemen, nearly 2.6 million are just a step away from famine. Most IDPs are sheltering in parts of the country assessed to have acute food shortages or famine-like conditions,” Cheshirkov said.

Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and ongoing conflict, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). More than 20 million people need humanitarian assistance across the country, including the more than 16 million who will go hungry this year, UN sources said. Relief agencies said they will require almost USD 4 billion to assist the people in need.

“The existing sites for internally displaced are already overcrowded, and the humanitarian response is overstretched”, said Boris Cheshirkov. “More than 800,000 displaced Yemenis have been taking refuge in this part of the country. Most of them have been sheltering there since the start of the conflict in 2015.” Some of the displaced people have had to flee multiple times, straining their meager resources, and increasing their dependency on humanitarian aid.

“Life in Yemen is getting more desperate and dangerous by the day. Based on UNHCR’s assessments, 64 per cent of displaced families have no resources of an income. Others earn less than 50 US dollars a month to make ends meet”, said UNHCR’s Boris Cheshirkov.

“Consequently, two out of three displaced families say they need to resort to harmful coping mechanisms just to survive: they limit or skip their meals, they take children out of school and forego medical attention. Some end up begging or selling whatever they have. Child marriages are on the rise.”

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has also raised its concern about the growing numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Marib region. Spokesperson Paul Dillon said today that “the International Organization for Migration is watching with growing alarm as increasing numbers of people are displaced in Yemen, adding to the already worrisome food security concerns there.”

“Hostilities in Yemen’s Marib governorate have led to the displacement of at least 9, 000 people in recent weeks, bringing the total number of displacements in that part of the country to more than 117, 000 people,” he added.

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. This latest humanitarian crisis comes only days in advance of a United Nations pledging event, hosted by the governments of Sweden and Switzerland, scheduled for 1 March.
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