Islam News – U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock will on Thursday urge Washington to reverse a plan to designate Yemen’s Houthis a foreign terrorist organization, warning the move would push the country into a “famine on a scale that we have not seen for nearly 40 years.”, as Reuters agency reported.
In prepared remarks for a briefing of the U.N. Security Council, seen by Reuters, Lowcock will tell the 15-member body that a U.S. plan to issue licenses and exemptions to allow aid agencies to continue working will not prevent a famine in Yemen, which relies almost solely on imports.
“What would prevent it? A reversal of the (U.S.) decision,” Lowcock will say. “Aid agencies cannot – they simply cannot – replace the commercial import system.”
“The data show that 16 million people will go hungry this year. Already, about 50,000 people are essentially starving to death in what is essentially a small famine. Another 5 million are just one step behind them,” Lowcock will say.
While the United Nations and aid groups help about a third of Yemen’s 28 million people, Lowcock will stress commercial imports are key to ensuring millions more have access to food.