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Yemen humanitarian crisis to worsen next year: UN

AFP  |  Geneva 

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen, already the world's worst, will deteriorate in 2019, the UN said Tuesday, warning that the number of people needing aid is set to jump by four million.

The grim forecast for the embattled country came as the humanitarian office released its projected needs assessments for next year.

"The country with the biggest problem in 2019 is going to be Yemen," chief told reporters in

He said that in 2017, the UN was providing assistance to three million people a month. That figure rose to eight million per month this year and is expected to hit 12 million in 2019, Lowcock added.

The crisis in spiralled after a Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to support the government against Iran-backed Huthi rebels in March of 2015.

The situation has worsened in recent months due to a broad economic collapse and rising violence in the rebel-held port of Hodeida, a crucial import hub for and other basic supplies.

Lowcock said the UN is asking for USD 4 billion (3.5 billion euros) to help suffering Yemenis next year. Overall, 24 million people in -- roughly 75 per cent of the population -- will need humanitarian assistance in 2019.

Lowcock noted that the government will also need additional budget support from other countries to pay salaries and pensions in order to contain wider suffering.

He indicated that some of Yemen's allies in the Gulf, notably have committed to continue helping finance the government.

The chief stressed however that the outlook for could improve if progress is made at UN-brokered peace talks, set to begin in this month.

If the talks show results, "it is possible that we could find by the second half of the year that the extreme edge could get taken off the suffering of those people who have no form of income," Lowcock said, while noting that diplomatic gains were difficult to predict.

"The appeal we are making is based on our assessment of what the situation will actually be, rather than wishful thinking about what we would all like it to be," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 17:55 IST
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