Saudi-led war in Yemen have left 85,000 children dead
17:34, Nov 23, 2018
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The British diplomat's visit to Hodeida on Friday was aimed at encouraging Iran-aligned Huthi rebels and government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition to stay calm ahead of the talks in Stockholm, the United Nations source said.
At least 85,000 malnourished Yemeni children may have died in the last three years.
"For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death and it's entirely preventable", said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children's country director in Yemen.
As a result of border blockades by the Saudis to weaken the Houthis, about 14 million people in Yemen are also at risk of facing starvation.
"We hope that Griffiths's visit carries constructive suggestions regarding the economic and humanitarian situation".
A severely malnourished boy rests on a hospital bed at the Aslam Health Center, Hajjah, Yemen.
The United Nations envoy will visit Yemen's embattled city of Hodeida this week, a UN source said Thursday, ahead of peace talks set for December in Sweden.
The UN recently launched a heightened push to end the fighting between Yemen's warring parties - and reach a ceasefire in Hodeidah, in particular.
The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who toppled the legitimate government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.
But since seizing the southern port city of Aden in 2015, the coalition has faced a military stalemate and has been focusing on wresting control of the main port city of Hodeidah to weaken the Houthis by cutting off their main supply line.
Yet, multiple attempts to hold negotiations between the government the Houthi rebels have failed.
"We encourage all combatants to abide by their statements declaring a commitment to cease hostilities and call on those parties to not use any period of truce to reinforce military positions, implant mines, or in any way escalate the conflict", she said.
Griffiths faces a daunting challenge to overcome deep mistrust between all sides, including among allies, which makes any peace agreement fragile. A draft resolution, seen by Reuters, calls for a halt to fighting in Hodeidah, a stop to attacks on populated areas across Yemen and an end to attacks on countries in the region.
The draft also pushed for a large injection of foreign cash to support Yemen's collapsing currency and for salaries of civil servants, teachers and health workers to be paid within a month.
The calm that was prevailing just days ago was meant to be a confidence-building measure ahead of talks in Sweden. "That we will have more possibilities for humanitarian organizations and for the population to start to move, to start to regain a normal life", ICRC's Batallas said.
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