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Guterres Says Yemen in Imminent Danger of Famine

Guterres Says Yemen in Imminent Danger of Famine

Saturday, 21 November, 2020 - 05:30
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that war-torn Yemen is in "imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades.”


"In the absence of immediate action, millions of lives may be lost," Guterres said in a statement.


The UN chief said a combination of factors had come together to create famine conditions, including “a drastic reduction in funding for the UN-coordinated relief operation this year compared to 2018 and 2019, a failure to sustain external support for Yemen’s economy, especially in stabilizing the value of the Yemeni Rial, and the impact of the ongoing conflict and impediments imposed by powerful Yemeni and other parties on the life-saving work of humanitarian agencies.”


To cap the crises rooted in human behavior, locusts and floods are compounding the problem, added the UN chief.


“I urge all those with influence to act urgently on these issues to stave off catastrophe, and I also request that everyone avoids taking any action that could make the already dire situation even worse”, said Guterres.


“Failing that”, he concluded, “we risk a tragedy not just in the immediate loss of life but with consequences that will reverberate indefinitely into the future.”


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