RNA - "Crisis is not coming, it is not looming, it is here today, on our watch and ordinary people are paying the price," said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien in a speech on Tuesday, addressing the UN Security Council.
"The people of Yemen are being subjected to deprivation, disease and death as the world watches," he said, adding that the crisis is triggering "total social, economic and institutional collapse" in the Arab country.
O'Brien told the council that "the time is now" to finish the world's largest food emergency and to put Yemen on the path of survival.
His alarming remarks come as the UN Security Council has so far failed to turn off the Saudi war machine and prevent it from inflicting more damage to the kingdom's poor southern neighbor.
Since March 2015, Yemen has been heavily bombarded by Saudi warplanes as part of a brutal campaign against the impoverished country in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, the president who has resigned and is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
Latest tallies show that the war has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis and wounded thousands more. Indiscriminate Saudi bombardments have also taken a heavy toll on the Yemeni infrastructure, schools and hospitals, with prominent rights groups censuring Riyadh’s military for the use of internationally-banned weapons against Yemeni civilians.
The relentless airstrikes have put more than half of all health facilities in Yemen in a state of complete or partial shutdown. Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition.
Some 19 million out of the country's 28 million population are in dire need of humanitarian aid and many of them are reported to be on the brink of famine. The relentless airstrikes have also put more than half of all health facilities in Yemen in a state of complete or partial shutdown.
Furthermore, the war-torn nation has been grappling with a deadly cholera outbreak since last October. Over 55,200 Yemenis, one third of them children, are infected by the disease. The UN figures show that since late April nearly 500 Yemeni have lost their lives due to cholera infection. It is estimated that some 150,000 new cases of cholera are surfaced in the next six months.
The chaos in Yemen, caused by the Saudi campaign, has also given the Takfiri al-Qaeda and Daesh terror groups room to operate in the country, further complicating the situation on the ground there.