The United Nations has warned that Yemen is at risk of being “forgotten” as Russia-Ukraine conflict has grabbed the world’s attention, predicting an “extremely troubling outlook” for the war-wracked Arab country.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): The United Nations has warned that Yemen is at risk of being “forgotten” as Russia-Ukraine conflict has grabbed the world’s attention, predicting an “extremely troubling outlook” for the war-wracked Arab country.
Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, sounded the alarm on Sunday, saying, “Given the broader geopolitical reality, the risk is that Yemen will be in part forgotten and that will obviously be a tragedy.”
The economic consequences of the Ukraine conflict “are having reverberations into the global economy” and this “will reduce the scope of international solidarity for international cooperation,” he noted in an interview at the Doha Forum in Qatar.
“Right now the world is seized by the war in Ukraine, but the conflict in Yemen, the desperate situation in Afghanistan, these are still realities that will continue,” the UNDP’s head further said.
A Saudi-led military coalition has been waging a devastating war against Yemen since March 2015 with the aim of reinstating the country’s former Riyadh-allied officials and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement, which has been of significant help to the Yemeni army in defending the country against the invaders.
The imposed war, however, has stopped short of its goals while killing thousands of Yemenis in the process and turning the entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
“It is an extremely troubling outlook at the moment for the people of Yemen,” Steiner warned, saying, "The reality is that desperation, poverty, and destruction have reached a level in Yemen where the majority of the population is in one way or another unable to sustain itself anymore."
His comments came on the same day that Saudi military aircraft bombarded residential areas in the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a and other regions, hours after the popular Ansarullah resistance movement unilaterally announced a three-day truce on Saturday.
The truce came a day after a wave of drone and missile attacks hit targets across Saudi Arabia, including on a Saudi oil plant that set off a huge fire near Jeddah.
The attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia came just before Saturday's seventh anniversary of the Saudi war on Yemen.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Steiner said that Yemen’s plight would receive “inevitably less attention, and perhaps the greatest concern is... that the international donor community will essentially cut... funding”, which “should be of concern for all of us.”
Around 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people depend on aid for survival.
Earlier this month, the UN sought $4.27 billion to help 17.3 million of Yemen's needy at a donors’ conference. However, it raised only $1.3 billion.
This means “that what we will see through during the year 2022 is a further reduction in humanitarian aid, cut of food ratios, and our ability to, for example, train Yemeni citizens”, Steiner added, saying, “All of this will be compromised.”
“This war... has not solved anything,” the UN official stressed.