SANA’A – Yemenis only have enough food for the next 10 weeks at the most, the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs warned on Thursday.
In an interview with EFE, Stephen O’Brien called on the international community to intervene in order to avoid the crisis worsening in the Arab country.
O’Brien is staying in the Yemeni capital Sana’a and was prevented from entering the southwestern city of Taiz on Feb. 28, when he tried to access this besieged city.
He reiterated that this situation should pressurize the international community to send sufficient funds to Yemen, which has been living through a war which intensified in 2015.
“I make a big and strong plea for access to be free, unimpeded and safe,” O’Brien emphasized.
“To do that, it means that there should not be a problem like I suffered yesterday of not being able to get across from Ibb to Taiz. Without having the route open, we will not be able to get the supplies in,” O’Brien explained in the interview.
He insisted that humanitarian aid should reach anyone in need, wherever the person may be.
The British diplomat stressed that the world still has “a chance to avoid a famine in Yemen.”
“We should not wait for those terrible pictures of very thin, very weakened children dying,” O’Brien noted.
He explained that it is “the first time” that the world is facing “four simultaneous famines” in Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, as well as Yemen.
“We can see about seven million Yemenis are not sure where their next meal will come from, and it’s that which caused us to declare that if we don’t step up now and in even a greater way, there is a real danger of famine here in Yemen,” he added.