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Oxfam calls on the world not to forget the humanitarian plight of millions
As the conflict in Yemen enters its third week, Oxfam warns that the international community should push for an immediate ceasefire and allow aid into the country.
Already there are over 121,000 displaced people in Yemen as a direct consequence of the escalation in violence. Hajjah Governorate in Western Yemen has witnessed mass displacement of tens of thousands of people, many of whom were already living in makeshift camps after fleeing previous conflict and are now being forced to move again. All are in desperate need of aid.
Grace Ommer, Oxfam’s Country Director said: “A permanent end to the conflict must be found now and land, sea and air routes must be re-opened to allow basic commodities like food, fuel and medical supplies to reach millions in desperate need.
“People have been without electricity and clean water in some areas for many days and are finding it increasingly difficult to buy sufficient food and fuel. Humanitarian access also remains virtually impossible in many areas for Oxfam and its partners. This is why the international community must intervene now and put pressure on all the parties to bring an end to the violence, or we could be looking at a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.”
On Tuesday the UN Security Council passed a resolution on Yemen. Ommer said: "Oxfam is deeply disappointed in UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which we believe will do little to bring an end to the suffering of millions of people currently caught up in Yemen's escalating violence. The international community needs to immediately display their commitment to uphold international humanitarian law and seek a negotiated peace."
Already, before the crisis, over 60 percent of the population – 16 million people – was already in need of some form of aid. More than 10 million Yemenis did not have enough food to eat – that includes 850,000 malnourished children.
In Aden, one Oxfam worker said: “Most of the supermarkets, restaurants and bakeries are closed. The nearest supermarket to my house is open for limited times and it’s nearly 6 miles away.”
In response to the current conflict, Oxfam has delivered vital aid to more than 30,000 people. Assistance has included cash payments to allow families to buy basic commodities like food.
Oxfam has also delivered water containers and water filters to families in Western Yemen, and begun trucking clean water to vulnerable areas. Oxfam aims to reach 80,000 people in the coming weeks, and 1 million people in total once humanitarian access improves. Oxfam has been working in Yemen for more than 30 years.