OCHA Note to correspondents, Tuesday 28 February
This is to clarify the facts following reporting in some media on an incident at a frontline check point in Taizz Governorate with the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Stephen O’Brien, today in Yemen.
Despite having received assurance of safe passage by all parties for all stages of the mission into Taizz city, Mr. O’Brien’s convoy was denied passage at the final checkpoint before crossing the frontline coming from Ibb to Taizz city.
After being denied access, the convoy returned to safer ground to continue negotiating access with the authorities controlling the final checkpoint, but to no avail.
Mr. O’Brien was extremely disappointed that humanitarian efforts to reach people in need were once again thwarted by parties to a conflict, especially at a time when millions of Yemenis are severely food insecure and face the risk of famine. He remains deeply concerned about the terrible plight and extent of severe humanitarian need in Taiz and Yemen and is determined to stay focused on his mission to advocate for the people affected in Yemen, to marshal the resources necessary to provide life-saving assistance and protection, and to remind parties to the conflict of their responsibility to respect humanitarian and international humanitarian law, including the provision of timely, full and unimpeded humanitarian access.