Nov 21, 2020 09:33 UTC
  • UN chief says looming danger of famine threatens Yemen

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says war-torn Yemen is on the verge of facing “the worst famine” the world has seen “for decades”, warning against any unilateral moves as the United States threatens to blacklist the Ansarullah movement, whose fighters significantly help the Yemeni army against an invading Saudi-led military coalition.

Guterres made the remarks on Friday, as aid workers have already raised fears that if Washington carries out its threat in designating the Ansarullah movement a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), it will bar life-saving aid from reaching the impoverished country.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies, with arms support from the US and several Western countries, launched a brutal war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to restore the Riyadh-friendly regime of the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and crush the popular Ansarullah movement that has taken control of state matters.

The ongoing war has failed to achieve its goals, but martyred tens of thousands of innocent Yemenis and destroyed the impoverished country’s infrastructure.

The UN says more than 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger. The world body also refers to the situation in Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

All international efforts to put an end to the invasion have failed. As UN officials are trying to revive peace talks to end the brutal war, Yemen’s suffering is also compounded by an economic and currency collapse as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the absence of immediate action, millions of lives may be lost,” Guterres said in a statement earlier on Friday.

Earlier this week, some diplomatic sources revealed that the administration of US president Donald Trump was preparing to blacklist the Houthi movement, which controls northern Yemen and its most populated areas and has been a great help to the Yemeni army in defending the country against the Saudi-led invaders.