The top United Nations aid official on Wednesday strongly criticized as unacceptable Saudi-led war on the Yemen port of Hodeida, a lifeline for imports of food, medicine and fuel.
“These attacks are in clear contravention of international humanitarian law and are unacceptable,” Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council.
The aid chief said he was “extremely concerned” that damage from the bombings “could have a severe impact on the entire country,” worsening the humanitarian crisis.
Already 80 percent of Yemen’s population of 26 million are in desperate need of aid, and nearly 1.5 million have been driven from their homes in the nearly five-month war.
Returning from a visit to Yemen, O’Brien said the “scale of human suffering is almost incomprehensible.”
“I was shocked by what I saw.”
O’Brien said the United Nations was scaling up its operations to bring relief and that more international aid workers would be based outside of the capital Sanaa and Hodeida.
The relief effort is hampered by a lack of funding, with only 18 percent of the $1.6 billion requested for Yemen raised so far, he said.
O’Brien appealed for a political solution to end the violence that he stressed was “destroying the lives of millions of people” in Yemen.
Yemen has been since March 26 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians.
Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier on Wednesday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said around 400 children have been killed in Yemen since late March.
In a report titled “Yemen: Childhood Under Threat”, the UNICEF said that as many as 398 children have been killed and nearly 600 others sustained injuries since March 26.
“Since the conflict escalated on 26 March 2015, nearly three children are being killed every day and another five injured,” the report said.