Yemeni war-affected children wait to receive food provided by a charity center in Sanaa, Yemen, on June 18, 2019. (Xinhua/Mohammed Mohammed)
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Despite recent stepped-up violence in Aden, the United Nations "has remained focused on staying and delivering essential life-saving programs," a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.
Aden port, which is one of the main gateways for commercial and humanitarian goods to Yemen, remains operational, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said. The airport has also re-opened, and roads in Aden are mostly open.
"Since the escalation of violence in Aden on Aug. 7, the United Nations has remained focused on staying and delivering essential life-saving programs there and in neighboring governorates," Dujarric said.
According to the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, preliminary reports indicate that as many as 40 people have been killed and 260 injured.
The UN called on all parties to maintain the ceasefire prevailing in Aden and to engage in dialogue to resolve differences, he said. "We continue to urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to adhere to international humanitarian law and international human rights law."
"We welcome the initiative by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene a meeting in Jeddah between the relevant stakeholders to resolve their differences through dialogue," he added.
It is critical that all parties work to ensure that the events of the past days do not lead to further instability in Aden or elsewhere in Yemen, said the spokesman.
The southern city is the seat of the internationally-recognized government of the exiled president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Humanitarian agencies are responding to the impact of the recent violence in Aden, the spokesman said. Agencies are visiting health centers to assess needs, as well as visiting neighborhoods to identify risks of unexploded ordnance.
"Agencies also have 2,000 rapid response kits on standby; these kits provide basic food and hygiene supplies in emergencies," he said. "Regular humanitarian programs are also continuing."
The United Nations has 300 national and international staff working in Aden, Dujarric said.
More UN international staff are scheduled to arrive in Aden in the coming days, and rotation cycles will continue, the spokesman said. Humanitarian programs are not affected by the process.