Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick,on the need to improve humanitarian access to Taizz City [EN/AR]

Sana'a, 11 April 2017

On 9 April, despite long-standing humanitarian access restrictions, I was able to enter Taizz City and gain a first-hand impression of the humanitarian situation.

Compared to the last time I was in the city over 9 months ago – and in spite of its current status as an active conflict zone – markets seemed busier with more people, more vehicles were on the roads and many more shops and restaurants were open. Local relief committee members and hospital managers stressed that a recent reduction in the fighting has allowed some semblance of normalcy to return to this hard hit city, allowing some of the partially functioning hospitals to conduct minor repairs.

However, they also stressed that lives are being lost to preventable diseases. Hospitals and feeding centers struggle to cope due to problems with salary payments, insufficient essential supplies, and lack of medicines. Increasing malnutrition rates, particularly in children, are worsening the already difficult humanitarian situation.

I now call on parties to the conflict to build on the momentum of this recent visit by helping to establish a predictable and regular access mechanism to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need across Taizz. I further call on them to ensure that the mechanism does not only cover Taizz City but also helps to improve humanitarian access to the rural areas in the governorate, where the need is also great.

For further information, please contact:
George Khoury, Head of OCHA Yemen, khouryg@un.org, Tel +967 712 222 207
Zaid Al Alayaa, Information Officer OCHA Yemen, al-alayaa@un.org, Tel. +967 2222 835
Jessica J. Jordan, Head of Communication (OIC), jordanj@un.org, Tel. +962 79867 4617
OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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