Concern at Yemen food situation mounts

The United Nations (UN) Security Council on Sunday voiced concern over military escalation and food insecurity in Yemen.

The members of the Security Council condemned military escalation in Yemen and the Houthi attack on oil facilities in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 23, said the council in a press statement.

The council members reiterated their commitment to an inclusive Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political process and reaffirmed the international community’s firm commitment to uphold Yemen’s sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity, it said.

They expressed alarm at the new Integrated Food Security Phase Classification assessment, which shows that 13.5 million Yemenis are at risk of starvation and already facing acute food insecurity, and that this figure could rise to at least 16 million by June 2021.

The council members also expressed alarm at the humanitarian community’s warning that it may have to stop programs because of funding shortfalls. They called on all donors to step up urgently and save lives by disbursing outstanding pledges before the end of the year and making early and generous contributions in 2021 to prevent imminent UN program closures, said the statement.

They noted the central role of ongoing conflict and economic collapse in driving famine risks and urged Yemen’s partners to consider all possible measures to strengthen the economy, including further foreign exchange injections.

In the statement, they also emphasized the importance of facilitating humanitarian assistance, and stressed the need for continued donor support for the operating environment of the humanitarian response in order to prevent enormous loss of life.