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Source: United Nations (Video News)

Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.


– Attacks on Journalists
– Deputy Secretary-General
– Yemen
– Ethiopia/Humanitarian
– Ethiopia/Refugees
– Somalia
– Bahrain
– Israel-Lebanon
– Malawi
– Latin America
– Mozambique
– Senior Personnel Appointment
– U.N. Resident Coordinator

Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, briefed the Security Council members via VTC on Yemen today. He told Council members that it is now time for the Yemeni parties to take the final decisions required to bring the negotiations on the Joint Declaration to fruition. He added that he has been working with each party to find solutions, but in the end, he is the mediator and not the negotiator. 
Mr. Griffiths said that the violence on the frontlines has not been as intense as in previous months. At the same time, he is deeply concerned by the periodic spikes in violence between the parties in Marib and Taiz as well as recent escalation in attacks on Saudi territory. 
Regarding the SAFER oil tanker, he said that although discussions have been constructive, we are yet to receive the approvals needed for the expert mission to proceed. 
Mark Lowcock, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, and David Beasley, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, also briefed via video. Both warned Council members about the increasing level of hunger in the country. 
Mr. Lowcock said the most urgent task in Yemen today is to prevent widespread famine. In order to prevent famine, he added, the world must act now on the protection of civilians and humanitarian access, funding for the aid operation, the economy and progress towards peace.  
For his part, Mr. Beasley said malnutrition in Yemen has never been worse, with one in four Yemeni children being malnourished. 

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs remains concerned about the ongoing tensions in the Tigray region and their impact on civilians.  
The UN along with partners is working with the authorities to ensure the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers, continued access to people in need of assistance, and availability of funding given increasing needs.  
On the ground, communications continue to be disrupted. There are also reports of intermittent electricity supply shortages as well as shortages of basic commodities such as flour and fuel are also reported. Banks remain closed and the shortage of available cash is becoming much more acute. The closure of banks and inaccessibility to the region hamper our humanitarian operations including the traditional humanitarian cash transfers to one million people. 
Humanitarian workers in Tigray have just one month of fuel supply to run water pumps for 90,000 refugees. Supply for several programmes are also running low.   
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is finalizing a humanitarian response plan. The UN country teams in neighbouring Eritrea, Sudan and Djibouti are also being supported to finalize their contingency plan. 
The UN Refugee Agency is working with authorities in Sudan to help more than 7,000 refugees who fled Ethiopia in the past two days, following clashes in the Tigray region. 
UNHCR and local authorities are screening and registering people who are arriving in Sudan. More refugees from Ethiopia to arrive in other neighbouring countries. UNHCR is stepping up its preparations for emergency relief by working with governments and partners. 
We urge governments in the neighbouring countries to keep their borders open for people forced to flee from their homes. UNHCR is also asking the Ethiopian authorities to take steps to allow the agency to keep providing assistance to the safety to refugees and internally displaced people who are in Tigray. 
Within Ethiopia, UNHCR is very concerned for the more than 96,000 Eritreans living in refugee camps and the host communities living alongside them, as well as the 100,000 people in Tigray who were already internally displaced before this particular violence started.

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