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UN to provide humanitarian aid to one million of Yemenis if ceasefire holds

July 11, 2015, 1:30 UTC+3 THE UNITED NATIONS
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THE UNITED NATIONS, July 10. /TASS/. UN and its partners are planning to deliver humanitarian aid to 1.1 million of Yemenis if a humanitarian pause comes into effect in early hours of Saturday and then will hold further on, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters on Friday.

"Planning for the humanitarian pause foresees the distribution of food to over 1.1 million people; the treatment of more than 126,000 malnourished children; support for 13,000 pregnant and lactating women; and the distribution of emergency shelter and essential household items to 55,000 people," Dujarric said adding that hygiene or dignity kits were planned to be handed out to more than 45,000 Yemenis and that Dengue fever surveillance and health promotion activities would be provided to over 650,000 people.

The UN and its partners are going to put up 29 mobile health and nutrition centres to fulfil the task.

Simultaneously, the UN World Food Programme announced its readiness to scale up operations in Yemen but warned at the same time it requires additional $103mln till August for financing the operations.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced its intention to airlift food to Yemen’s civilian population.

Along with this, the UN has again urged the warring sides to observe a ceasefire agreement which is expected to start at a minute before midnight and to last until the end of the Ramadan on July 16, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

Since August 2014, Yemen has been suffering from a severe political and security crisis. In late January 2015, armed groups of Ansar Allah (Houthi rebels) seized the country’s capital city of Sana’a and forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the government to announce resignation. The president tried to hide in the port city of Aden but after the Houthi rebels seized this city on March 25 he had to flee the country. After Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi called for help from the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia’s air force supported by aviation of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates launched an operation Decisive Storm against the Houthis on March 26. Later, this operation was followed by another one, Renewal of Hope.

On April 14, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2216 that stipulates arms and military equipment embargo to Houthi rebels. The draft document was proposed by Jordan, the United States and Britain. Fourteen U.N. Security Council member countries supported the resolution, including China and Venezuela, while Russia abstained from voting.

According to UN statistics, over 3,200 people have been killed and around 1.3 million have been forced to flee their homes since deterioration of the conflict in March. The amount of people in need of humanitarian aid is estimated at 21 million people, or nearly 80% of the country’s population.

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