Eruption in St Vincent & Grenadines, Yemen, Somalia & other topics – Daily Briefing (15 April 2021)

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

– ST Vincent & Grenadine
– Yemen
– Somalia
– UN Interim Forice In Lebanon
– COVID-19/Azerbaijan
– Covax/Mauritania
– Myanmar
– African Free Trade
– Disarmament Video Challenge
– World Art Day

ST Vincent & Grenadine
In response to the ongoing eruption of the La Soufrière volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock today announced an allocation of $1 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help provide urgent humanitarian assistance to impacted people, especially those who have been evacuated.
With the funds, UN agencies will provide drinking water and hygiene kits, as well as supplies to clean water sources and cash assistance to some of the most vulnerable and food-insecure people.
According to our humanitarian colleagues, up to 20,000 people have been evacuated from the ‘red zone’ around the volcano, and about 4,500 of them are staying in shelters.
People living in close proximity to the volcano have been impacted by heavy ash fall and pyroclastic flows that have damaged crops and faming equipment and impacted livestock keeping. This is likely to worsen food insecurity and poverty which was already on the rise because of the pandemic.
Most homes in Saint Vincent are without water and most of the country’s 110,000 people have been impacted by ash fall.
For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) today said that eruptions are continuing daily. Airports remain closed with economic implications for the country and for livelihoods and food security in the longer-term.
The WFP team is supporting the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to digitize evacuee registration information to facilitate the delivery of essential food, water and other items. WFP is also deploying a truck and forklift to support the overall response.

Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, briefed the Security Council on his diplomatic work, for which he has recently visited Muscat, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Berlin. He also met leaders of the Yemeni Government in Amman.
In all of these capitals, the Special Envoy has discussed in detail the current efforts to end the war in Yemen. in all cases, he said, he has come across, at a minimum, a consensus in support of the four points on which he is seeking agreement between the parties. He emphasized the need for the parties to agree to those points and to deliver Yemen from its plight.
Mr. Griffiths said that the urgency of progress towards a peaceful settlement makes the continued violence on the ground all the more concerning. Marib remains the major centre of gravity in the conflict, he said, adding that the fighting there is showing dangerous signs of escalating once again.
Mark Lowcock, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, told members of the Council that the situation in Yemen is still getting event worse, with a new wave of COVID-19 infections taking place and large-scale famine already bearing down on the country.
He said that March was a deadly month for civilians, with a quarter of civilian casualties during the month, especially in the Marib area. The Marib offensive, he said, is a threat to millions of people, with tens of thousands of people expected to move out of the area if the fighting continues.

I was asked in recent days about Somalia, and I can tell you that the Secretary-General is concerned over the latest political developments in that country. He urges the leaders to resume dialogue and reach an inclusive agreement based on the 17 September Electoral Model and the Baidoa Technical Committee’s proposals.
The Secretary-General calls on all the stakeholders to do their utmost to facilitate inclusive agreement, exercise restraint and refrain from violence. He remains of the view that inclusivity and dialogue offer the most viable path forward and appeals to Somali leaders to put their differences aside towards a consensual resolution.
And, as I mentioned to you, the Secretary-General spoke to President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo earlier this week

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