Inter-American problems and regional policy
Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on developments in Yemen
According to incoming reports, the humanitarian situation in the Republic of Yemen is steadily deteriorating due to the bloody domestic conflict. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien said at a briefing in the UN Security Council on October 31that over 10,000 people have been killed as a result of hostilities. About 21.2 million Yemenis, or 80 percent of the country’s population, need urgent relief. Fourteen million people are undernourished, while seven million are on the verge of starvation. The number of domestically displaced persons has exceeded three million and the number of refugees is over 300,000.
The bad situation is made worse by the fact that the majority of Yemenis have no access to clean water and sanitary infrastructure. Healthcare is in the worst shape. Some 10,000 children died since 2015 due to the shortage of medical services. The healthcare system is actually paralysed because its infrastructure was destroyed by bombing and it is short of medicines.
Yemenis are increasingly often contracting dangerous diseases, such as cholera, severe forms of pneumonia and measles. These diseases may spread throughout the country. According to the WHO forecast, up to 76,000 Yemenis may fall victim to the cholera epidemic. Over seven million people will be in the high-risk group.
The shortage of funds for relief programmes for Yemen is especially felt against this dramatic background. According to Mr O’Brien, only half of the humanitarian appeal for Yemen is funded. More than $820 million will be required to continue this relief.
Moscow is consistently advocating the adoption of urgent measures by the world community to alleviate the disastrous socio-economic situation in Yemen, ensure unhindered humanitarian access to all areas of this country and the lifting of its sea and air blockade as soon as possible. We are currently planning to send another shipment of humanitarian relief to Yemen.
As before, we are convinced that the humanitarian situation can only be improved by a political settlement of the Yemeni crisis with due consideration for the interests of all public and political forces in that country, which is a friend to Russia.
We support the efforts of Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Yemen, Mr Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who formulated a roadmap for a settlement in Yemen some time ago. For its part, Russia will continue actively facilitating the search for political and security solutions in dialogue with various parties in Yemen and the region and in cooperation with the United Nations.