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Security Council voices concern over worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen

Yemenis check the damage in the aftermath of a Saudi airstrike in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on March 8, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations Security Council has warned about the worsening humanitarian situation in war-battered Yemen, stating the status quo is having a “devastating” impact on the lives of civilians in the impoverished Arab country.

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and the devastating humanitarian impact of the conflict on civilians,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement said the UN estimates that 22.2 million Yemenis are now in need of humanitarian aid, and the number is 3.4 million more than the figure recorded last year.

The statement, which was unanimously approved by the 15-member council, called on all parties involved in the Yemen conflict to “respect and protect schools, medical facilities, and personnel.”

“The members of the Security Council reaffirm their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen,” the statement said.

Saudi airstrikes continue unabated 

Also on Thursday, Saudi fighter jets carried out three airstrikes against an area in the Iyal Surayh district of Yemen’s northwestern province of ‘Amran. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.

Yemenis remove salvageable items from a destroyed house in the aftermath of a Saudi airstrike in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on March 8, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Saudi warplanes also pounded a residential neighborhood in the Huth district of the same Yemeni province. No reports of casualties were immediately available though.

About 14,000 people have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen in March 2015. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country's infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.

The United Nations says a record 22.2 million people are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

A high-ranking UN aid official recently warned against the “catastrophic” living conditions in Yemen, stating that there is a growing risk of famine and cholera there.

A Yemeni child receives a diphtheria vaccine at a health center in the capital Sana’a on March 14, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

“After three years of conflict, conditions in Yemen are catastrophic,” John Ging, UN director of aid operations, told the UN Security Council on February 27.

He added, “People's lives have continued unraveling. Conflict has escalated since November driving an estimated 100,000 people from their homes.”

Ging further noted that cholera has infected 1.1 million people in Yemen since last April, and a new outbreak of diphtheria has occurred in the war-ravaged Arab country since 1982.

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