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World must act now to prevent Yemen collapse

Published 25/05/2015

It is deplorable that everybody has failed to extend what was a temporary ceasefire in Yemen.

The conflict and blockade of the country has crippled its economy and put the lives of 26 million people at risk.

Fuel supplies are exhausted, food is running out, hospitals are without even basic medical supplies, power is intermittent and water networks are collapsing.

Nearly 2,000 Yemenis have been killed and this is likely to be well under-estimated.

We welcome the proposed Geneva peace talks, but without an immediate and permanent ceasefire Yemen will buckle under the pressure of war.

Oxfam implores international governments to act before the peace talks. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition should let vessels with essential supplies dock at Yemen's ports; there should be a complete arms embargo; and funding to help Yemenis access clean water, food and basic medical treatment must be increased.

Without international pressure, Yemen could become another of the world's failed states.

JIM CLARKEN

Chief executive, Oxfam Ireland

Belfast Telegraph

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