Oxfam says 10 mn in Yemen at risk of most serious famine

'Ghost country' one year after Stockholm Agreement

12 December, 17:59

    Oxfam says 10 mn in Yemen at risk of most serious famine Oxfam says 10 mn in Yemen at risk of most serious famine

    ROME - Yemen has become a ghost country, with 10 million people literally left without food and on the brink of the most serious famine in recent history, while another seven million are already malnourished, according to Oxfam and other 14 associations which have launched an appeal to the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire in the country.

    Oxfam said that one year since the Stockholm Agreement, Hudaydah, the country's main port, is still the most dangerous place despite a ceasefire established with the agreement on December 13, 2018.

    The most important port city of the country, in fact, had one-fourth of all civilian victims in 2019: 799 dead and injured and 40% of the more than 2,100 attacks against civilians.

    At the same time, throughout the country people continue to flee bombings and violence that in 2019 alone caused 390,000 people to be displaced.

    Half of the displaced came from three governorates: Hajjah, Hudaydah and Al Dhale'e.

    In Hudaydah alone, since the start of the conflict, more than 600,000 people have been forced to flee to find safety.

    The alarm comes on the anniversary of an agreement between the parties in conflict, which brought a glimmer of hope, and then came to nearly nothing, said Oxfam in a statement.

    Citing the UN, Oxfam said what Yemen is currently experiencing is the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world at this time.

    Across the country, where 90% of food has to be imported, fighting and blocks imposed by the authorities make it increasingly difficult for humanitarian organisations to reach communities that no longer have access to hospitals, markets, or drinking water.

    "The attacks on the port of Hudaydah, through which 70% of food, medicine, and fuel travels, and upon which more than 20 million Yemenis at the end of their rope depend, must stop immediately," said Paolo Pezzati, Oxfam Italia policy advisor for humanitarian emergencies. "The humanitarian crisis has reached unimaginable levels in Yemen and helpless civilians are suffering the most disastrous consequences. Since the start of the conflict, four million people have been forced to abandon their homes to save their lives, and currently a half-million people who have fled from the fighting are exposed to the winter cold, without a safe shelter. Homes, schools, hospitals, and markets are destroyed or damaged," he said. This year, he said, "327 attacks directly hit civilian dwellings (60% of the total number of attacks) causing 50% of the total victims among women and children. Together with the other humanitarian organisations working in the country, we therefore express all of our indignation at world leaders and the parties in conflict for not having found a political solution to the conflict and not having protected innocent people".(ANSAmed).

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