Human Rights Council

Thirty-fifth session, 6 to 23 June 2017
General Debate Item 10

21 June 2017

Delivered by: Ms Ife Kolade

Thank you, Mr. President. would like to, once again, draw this council’s attention to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen.

With over 2 million Internally Displaced Persons in a country of 26 million, and many more people affected by the conflict in other respects, the need for assistance in Yemen is truly widespread.

We would especially like to draw attention to the recent cholera outbreak which is estimated to have already affected over 135,000 people and killed 950, according to the World Health Organization. Both the Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, and the Special Rapporteur on Health have noted that the lack of access to reliable and clean drinking water, in tandem with a broken sanitation system, have and will continue to enable conditions for the spread of cholera in Yemen.

The cholera outbreak, famine in certain regions, and lack of access to healthcare across the country will create the perfect storm for mass suffering and deaths if the international community does not take action. While humanitarian assistance will temporarily ease the pain and suffering, only a human rights sensitive approach to ending the conflict will produce a long-term solution.

We, therefore, call on the members of this council to increase their pressure on Saudi Arabia to end its blockade of Yemen which began in March 2015, as this deliberate restriction of food and medical supplies is shameful behaviour from a member of this council and constitutes a crime against humanity.

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