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519 Iran-backed rebels killed in past four days

Yemen\'s humanitarian crisis growing as economy collapses: UN

Published : Saturday, 16 October, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 471

Yemen's humanitarian crisis growing as economy collapses: UNSANAA, Oct 15: The UN has called for a halt to fighting in a district of Yemen's oil-rich Marib province that pits government forces supported by a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
Marib, Shabwa and Al-Bayda provinces have all seen an escalation in fighting in recent weeks, resulting in "a devastating impact on civilians", according to David Gressly, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.
The latest air strikes against the Iran-backed rebels take the number of them killed in oil-rich Marib province's Abdiya district to more than 500 in just the past four days, according to a toll compiled by the coalition. Destruction caused by Thursday's air strikes "included 11 military vehicles, and killed more than 150 terrorist elements," the coalition said in a statement carried by official Saudi media.
Yemen's economy is collapsing, its humanitarian crisis is worsening, and the conflict in the Arab world's poorest nation is growing more violent, the United Nations' deputy humanitarian chief has said.
The grim remarks by Assistant Secretary-General Ramesh Rajasingham came during a briefing to the UN Security Council on Thursday. More than 20 million Yemenis - two-thirds of the population - need humanitarian assistance, but aid agencies, he said, "are, once again, starting to run out of money".
Aid agencies are now helping nearly 13 million people across the country, about 3 million more than just a few months ago, Rajasingham added. "Our best assessment is that this expansion has considerably pushed back the immediate risk of large-scale famine."
But he warned that aid agencies don't have enough money to keep going at this scale and "in the coming weeks and months, up to 4 million people could see their food aid reduced" and "by the end of the year, that number could rise to 5 million people".
The Houthi rebels renewed their campaign to seize Marib, a strategically vital city that would complete their takeover of the north and its oil reserves, last month.  The rebels have since had to retreat from some of their positions, multiple government military officials in Marib said Thursday.
Despite the losses, Houthis are "pushing new reinforcements... and sending thousands to their deaths," according to one of the officials.  Yemen's war began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres west of Marib, prompting the Saudi-led intervention to prop up the government the following year.
The security situation has been particularly difficult in Marib's Abdiya district, where the UN says the movement of aid and some 35,000 people has been "extremely restricted", including for 17,000 "extremely vulnerable" people who found refuge there from conflict in other areas of Yemen.
"I call on all parties involved in the fighting to agree now to a cessation of hostilities for Abdiya district to allow for the safe passage of civilians and aid workers, and for the evacuation of all of those wounded in the fighting," Gressly said in a statement on Thursday. The fighting in Marib -- where the Huthis are battling to seize the provincial capital Marib city, the government's last stronghold in northern Yemen -- displaced some 10,000 people in September alone, the highest monthly figure so far this year.    -AFP








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