Statement by Johannes Van Der Klaauw, Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen

Sana’a/New York, 8 July 2014: I am extremely alarmed about the recent escalation of the conflict in Amran Governorate. Over the past few days, violence has displaced thousands of families and affected many more. There are reports of more than 200 civilians, including women and children, having been killed, and thousands of people are reportedly trapped inside the conflict zone in Amran City, unable to flee the fighting.

I am deeply worried about the safety and welfare of civilians caught up in the conflict. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to make sure that civilians are spared from the fighting and that those who are affected by conflict are able to move to more secure areas.

Reports of the seizure of humanitarian assets and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, are very upsetting. There is no excuse for direct attacks on civilian infrastructure or on humanitarian assets.

Humanitarian partners are providing life-saving services, including food, water and sanitation, shelter and emergency healthcare in accessible areas. However, humanitarian access is constrained by ongoing fighting, roadblocks and other restrictions.

I call on all parties to facilitate aid agencies’ access to civilians, and to protect and respect humanitarian activities, workers, and property at all times to ensure that aid can reach vulnerable people who are in desperate need of assistance. I am seeking dialogue with parties to the conflict to ensure rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need.

I fully support the statement made by the Secretary General’s Special Advisor to Yemen,
Jamal Benomar, urging the parties to observe the ceasefire, find a peaceful resolution to their grievances, and his call to allow delivery of assistance to all populations in need.
For more information, contact:

Erich Ogoso, Public Information Officer, OCHA Yemen (ogoso@un.org/ +967 712222831)
Trond Jensen, Head of Office, OCHA Yemen (jensen8@un.org/+967 712222207)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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