Riyadh, Aden- Yemen’s minister of local administration said that the United Nations has responded positively to the call made by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi on the international body stepping up the role of humanitarian agencies based in Aden.
UN humanitarian aid chief Stephen O’Brien, currently visiting war-torn Yemen had made promises on reinforcing UN-run works within government-held areas, such as Aden, Minister Abdul Raqqib Fatteh told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Today, almost 19 million people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance. Seven million people don’t know where their next meal is coming from and we now face a serious risk of famine,” O’Brien told reporters in Aden.
“Yesterday, I saw with my own eyes the destruction of the war and the impact on the people living in Aden,” he said, noting that he was especially pleased to know that two babies – a boy and a girl – were born while he was at a maternity hospital. “They are Yemen’s hope and future,” he said.
“O’Brien assured that President Hadi’s request will be met positively, and that Aden is safe for now,” Fatteh said.
Given the urgency of the situation, Hadi and O’Brien also discussed the need to facilitate commercial imports of food, fuel and medicine, through all ports of Yemen, and the resumption of commercial flights to all of Yemen,
President Hadi, in his talks to the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, discussed the inhumane blockade suffered by the province of Taiz.
The coup-imposed besiegement has been ongoing for nearly two years.
United Nations organizations have registered no significant role to match the pressing situation in that area, which is part why President Hadi called on O’Brien to pay Taiz a visit.
Minister Fatteh said that O’Brien undertook it upon himself to visit Taiz after his visit to Sanaa.
O’Brien said the purpose of his visit was also to meet with senior Government officials to discuss how to prevent a possible famine and how to better protect the civilians that are caught in this conflict.
In Aden and the surrounding governorates, 3.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, two thirds of whom are in desperate need of food.