Statement of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick on his visit to Taizz, Ibb and the city of Taizz [EN/AR]

(Sana’a, 23 January 2016) I have just returned from Taizz and Ibb Governorates where I travelled with United Nations senior officials to meet with authorities and the armed groups, to see for my-self the humanitarian situation, and to discuss this and access issues with local authorities. As part of this mission, I also travelled to Taizz City to see firsthand the humanitarian situation there. Humanitarian access to three districts within the city has been difficult for many months and we are seeking to find mechanisms with parties on the ground to ensure sustained, unfettered, and unconditional access.

In the enclave, comprising the three districts, I witnessed the impact of conflict, particularly on civilian infrastructure and saw the difficulties people are facing. Only a few shops are open. Food and other basic goods needed to survive are in short supply. Basic services are scarce, including access to water and fuel. I visited the Al Thawra Hospital, which has been repeatedly hit. Like other health facilities in Yemen, it has not been spared by this conflict and should be protected against attacks under international humanitarian law. The hospital, one of the few functioning health facilities in the enclave, is critically short of medical supplies. Medical personnel in Taizz, as is the case elsewhere in Yemen, continues to work despite the dangers they face, often unpaid and with meager resources. Everywhere I went I saw the trauma the conflict is causing to the women, men, and children, who have been living in this enclave and under these conditions for months.

I am encouraged and grateful for the support we had from all parties to reach the enclave in Taizz and the discussions we had to reach people in need of assistance. I also saw some food, cooking gas, and other commodities being brought into the city. I appeal to authorities and groups to work with the United Nations to establish a mechanism that will allow regular and sustained access of these goods and more into the city of Taizz. The United Nations is committed to help the people in need in Taizz and Ibb, as well as all those who require humanitarian assistance throughout Yemen. I appeal to all parties to the conflict in Yemen to observe international humanitarian law and provide humanitarian access as well as refrain from targeting civilian infrastructure.

For further information, please call:

Philippe Kropf, OCHA Yemen, kropf@un.org, +962 796 656 733

Iyad Nasr, OCHA ROMENA, nasri@un.org, +20 10 9555 8662

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.