Humanitarian agencies urge more cooperation on aid delivery in war-torn Yemen

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-06 22:52:02|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

ISTANBUL, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Humanitarian agencies on Thursday urged international and local communities to work together to overcome challenges in delivering basic supplies to those in urgent need in war-torn Yemen.

"We are witnessing the world's most complicated humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where at least 13 million civilians have been struggling against famine, drought and the war all at the same time," Kerem Kinik, head of the Turkish Red Crescent Society, said at a conference on humanitarian aid in Istanbul.

Highlighting the severity of the situation in Yemen, Kinik spoke of hunger, malnutrition and scarcity of medical supplies as among the most imminent threats facing the country.

Saudi Arabia, backed by an Arab coalition, launched a military intervention in Yemen in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who was forced into exile by Houthi rebels. Since then, more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, have lost their lives, while 3 million others have been displaced.

The latest round of peace talks on Yemen started in Sweden on Thursday and will last for about one week.

"The Turkish Red Crescent Society has a permanent staff in the country, but we are having extreme difficulties in delivering our donations," said Kinik.

Kinik and his team will be heading to Yemen in the upcoming days to hold talks with the relevant parties about the distribution of humanitarian aid in the region.

Mette Petersen, head of Turkey office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said that security and access to basic humanitarian aid supplies are the biggest challenges for local residents and the aid agencies operating in Yemen.

"We are trying to expand the capacities of local humanitarian organizations in the country to be able to respond quickly," said Petersen.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has delivered 100 million U.S. dollars in aid to Yemen this year.

Katy Attfield, deputy head of ICRC's division for operations and partnership cooperation and coordination, said her agency has been meeting with various authorities in Yemen to make sure civilians have access to medical supplies, water and food.

"Most importantly, we are trying to find ways to protect the victims from the conflict," said Attfield.

The conference in Istanbul gathered multiple humanitarian aid organizations, including the UN refugee agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN cultural agency United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Doctors Without Borders.