Angelina Jolie holds talks with Houthis on Yemen’s situation

Sanaa: Hollywood actress and a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Angelina Jolie held talks with the Houthi Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf in Sanaa, the Saba News Agency reported.

Sharaf shed light on the grievances of the Yemeni people, who have been subjected to aggression and siege for seven years, pointing out that there are those who want this war to be forgotten despite all the injustice and suffering experienced by the Yemeni people.

Jolie, visited Yemen on March 6 for a three-day visit. She met both internally displaced Yemenis as well as refugees in the north and south of the country.

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Jolie met displaced people, Yemeni families, and women. As per reports, she burst into tears when she saw the living conditions of the women and children who had been forced to live there.

UNHCR’s Special Envoy Jolie called on all parties to the conflict to respect and commit to international humanitarian law. She also called for all parties to avoid targeting civilians, and to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need, safe passage for civilians to flee conflict areas, and a negotiated political settlement.

Jolie urged the international community to increase its support for the severely underfunded humanitarian response, ahead of the High Level pledging conference for Yemen to be held on 16 March, and to redouble efforts to seek an end to the violence. More than 4 million people have been displaced in the past seven years.

Jolie’s visit aimed to draw attention to the increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen and help mobilize urgent support for humanitarian work ahead of the annual High-Level Pledging Conference for Yemen on 16 March, and call for regional and international actors to commit to an end to the conflict.

“As we continue to watch the horrors unfolding in Ukraine, and call for an immediate end to the conflict and humanitarian access, I’m here in Yemen to support people who also desperately need peace.” Jolie wrote on Instagram at the start of her trip.

“Yemen situation one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with one civilian killed or injured every hour in 2022. An economy devastated by war, and over 20 million Yemenis depending on humanitarian assistance to survive,” she added.

Yemen has been mired in chaos since Iran-backed Houthi rebels ousted the internationally recognized government from the capital, Sanaa, in early 2015, saying they were fighting corruption.

Until the end of 2021, the war killed 377,000 people and cost Yemen’s economy $126 billion in losses, and most of the population of about 30 million people became dependent on aid, in one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

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