(New York, 11 May 2015) I note the announcement of a humanitarian pause in Yemen by the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US Secretary of State on behalf of the coalition, to start tomorrow. I hope that reports of agreement to the humanitarian pause by the Houthis are accurate. Given the deteriorating humanitarian situation on the ground in Yemen with hundreds of thousands of vulnerable civilians trapped in the middle of fighting and unable to access lifesaving aid it is essential that this pause materialise.
If the pause in fighting, scheduled to commence on 12 May, is implemented by all parties to the conflict, it will enable the United Nations and our partners to scale up our operations. Essential international staff are returning to Yemen. We could deliver more emergency food rations, provide medical care for the sick and injured and ensure clean water supplies for homes and hospitals. We need security guarantees and logistical support to enable us to do this.
Two WFP cargo ships arrived in Hudaydah over the weekend with fuel, food, water, and nutritional supplies. We have other supplies ready to be brought in and planes are standing by to help evacuate the wounded.
I call on all those engaged in this conflict to stop the fighting and bombing and give the people of Yemen respite. It is vital that all parties respect their obligations to protect civilians under International Humanitarian Law. A pause to allow aid in and people to flee to safety would be a lifeline.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.