World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Protracted conflict an 'endless nightmare'

For Yemenis and migrants, protracted conflict an 'endless nightmare' – head of UN agency

2 October 2017 – Amid worsening famine and cholera in war-torn Yemen, the head of the United Nations migration agency has called for greater humanitarian access to enable relief workers reach those most in need and save lives.

“The authorities have a responsibility to give humanitarians more access, including reopening the airport for essential aid deliveries, and the world has an obligation to come to the aid of the Yemeni people,” said William Lacy Swing, the Director General of the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), on a visit to the country.

Responding to the outbreak has been further complicated as the conflict in Yemen has left the country's water and sanitation systems in near-ruin and almost 80 per cent of the population – some 21 million people – as well as thousands of migrants dependent on humanitarian aid.

“The world's worst cholera outbreak is now part of this volatile mix and, as mind-numbing as it may seem, one million Yemenis are expected to contract the deadly disease by the end of this year,” added Mr. Swing.

According to estimates, more than 2,000 people have succumbed to the deadly disease since October last year and 750,000 have been hit with 5,000 additional people being infected every day.

Furthermore, more than three million Yemeni children under the age of 5 are at risk of severe acute malnutrition as an ever-present risk of famine looms larger.

“The internecine conflict, which has convulsed Yemen for over two years already, shows no sign of being resolved,” said the IOM Director General, noting that the situation of the nearly 6,000 migrants who continue to enter the country each month is of particular concern.

“They come in the hope that they can make their way through Yemen to the Gulf countries to find work.”

More than two years of brutal conflict has turned this society upside down leaving a trail of needless devastation in its wake
However, few realize the grave dangers they are likely to face along the route, including exploitation, abuse and abduction by criminal gangs for hefty ransoms.

“For Yemenis and migrants, the protracted conflict has become an endless nightmare,” said Mr. Swing.

During his visit, the head of IOM has met with authorities whom he called on to improve humanitarian access. He also met with persons displaced by fighting, whom the UN agency was only able to reach with aid a few weeks ago – the first time they received assistance since fleeing their homes more than a year back.

“More than two years of brutal conflict has turned this society upside down leaving a trail of needless devastation in its wake,” noted Mr. Swing, adding: “I urge all parties to the conflict to make real efforts towards finding peace because aid alone is not a solution.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>