SANA’A (Dispatches) –
Yemen’s economy is collapsing, its humanitarian crisis is worsening, and the Saudi-led conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation is growing more violent, the United Nations’ deputy humanitarian chief has said.
The grim remarks by Assistant Secretary-General Ramesh Rajasingham came during a briefing to the UN Security Council on Thursday. More than 20 million Yemenis – two-thirds of the population – need humanitarian assistance, but aid agencies, he said, “are, once again, starting to run out of money”.
Aid agencies are now helping nearly 13 million people across the country, about 3 million more than just a few months ago, Rajasingham added. “Our best assessment is that this expansion has considerably pushed back the immediate risk of large-scale famine.”
But he warned that aid agencies don’t have enough money to keep going at this scale and “in the coming weeks and months, up to 4 million people could see their food aid reduced” and “by the end of the year, that number could rise to 5 million people”.
“We are calling on everyone to do everything possible to sustain the momentum we’ve built over the last several months and keep famine at bay,” Rajasingham said.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in 2015 to reinstall Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Sana’a, but the war has failed to achieve its goal, and instead, killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people.
In recent months, the war coalition’s forces have been striving in vain to stop the Yemeni Army’s advances towards Ma’rib city.
Forces with Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, which controls the country’s government from the capital Sana’a, have continued to advance on the strategic city of Ma’rib, with local reports saying that some leaders of the powerful Murad tribe have agreed to refrain from fighting the resistance forces, who seem destined to take the remaining areas.
The Yemeni Army has so far advanced in Ma’rib’s al-Jubah district and now controls most of it, the Middle East Eye quoted residents as saying, while battles in the remaining areas of al-Jubah as well as in al-Abdiya district are underway.
Both districts are home to the Murad tribe, whose agreement with the government has paved the way for the smooth capture of al-Jubah.