Nearly four years into the Yemen conflict, an attempt at brokering peace with the parties meeting in a castle outside the Swedish capital Stockholm since December 6th. Expectations have been modest for this first round of talks between Yemen’s government and the Houthi rebels, but there has been some progress. The parties are reportedly close to agreement on several issues, including the reopening of Sanna Airport, easing fighting and the heavily populated cities of Thais and Hodeida as well as a package of economic measures.

On Tuesday, an agreement was reached to exchange 15,000 prisoners from both sides by January 20th. Assistant UN secretary-general for Human Rights Andrew Gilmore who recently traveled to Yemen says detention conditions there are unspeakable. He welcomed news of the prisoner exchange. But not just in terms of the mitigating the suffering of those people held in terrible conditions of detention, but also as a confidence-building measure that could have a political knock-on effect. Gilmour met mothers who showed him photos of their boys tortured bodies. From what we know of their many reports, we’ve heard there is no party that holds people in captivity that isn’t guilty of some forms of torture. The fighting between the Saudi-backed government of exiled President Abdul Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Iranians supported Houthi rebels has devastated Yemen’s economy, and left more than 12 million people on the brink of famine. The UN has asked donors for four billion dollars next year to help alleviate the suffering.

Humanitarians classify levels of food, insecurity, and the bulk of the country is considered an emergency phase for crisis. But UN humanitarian chief Mark Lacock says there are now 250,000 people at the worst level, phase five. We have never before documented people in phase five in the food crisis in Yemen, and those people are concentrated overwhelmingly in four districts, Ties, Sadder, Hajja and Whodata which are all districts where the conflict is raging quite intensely.

Only in South Sudan as anyone in Phase Five, said Lacock, twenty-five thousand people there fall into this dire category. So there are ten times as many people now in Yemen in phase five as in any other place in the world, and we’ve never had a phase five problem in Yemen before. The United Nations hopes to end the suffering with a permanent ceasefire. The special envoy plans to convene a second round of intra Yemeni talks early next year in an effort to keep the momentum for peace and alive.

Margaret Bashir VOA news the United Nations.



人道主义者将缺粮程度和安全等级进行了划分后认为,也门的大部分地区都处于危机的紧急阶段。但联合国人道救援事务负责人马克·拉科克表示,目前有25万人处于最糟糕的第五阶段。以前,也门就算发生粮食危机,也从未有第五阶段的情况记录在案。而处于第五阶段的人们主要分布在4个地区,即Ties、Sadder、Hajja 和Hodeida。这些地方的冲突都十分激烈。



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