The UN Security Council has warned that Yemen is in urgent need of a peace accord to avoid ‘total collapse’, but says key parties are unwilling to compromise.
The country is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis following years of fighting between pro-government forces and Shia Houthi rebels.
“The crisis is not coming. It is not even looming. It is here today on our watch and ordinary people are paying the price,” said Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
“What is worse is the threat of famine is driven and exacerbated by conflict. Yemen is not facing a drought. If there was no conflict in Yemen there would be no descent into famine, misery, disease and death.”
The warning comes as a quarter of the Yemeni population find themselves on the brink of famine and a cholera outbreak is expected to escalate.
The UN is negotiating to stop the conflict from spreading to the port city of Hodeidah, where some 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive.
An attack there, the UN says, would lead to “a devastating loss of civilian life.”