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Yemen: UN chief welcomes measures by Saudi-led coalition to ease access for humanitarian aid

Yemen: UN chief welcomes measures by Saudi-led coalition to ease access for humanitarian aid

India Blooms News Service | | 26 Jan 2018, 09:03 am

New York, Jan 26 (JEN): United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed news that five tankers carrying 180,000 litres of fuel reached Yemen’s northern province of Marib on Wednesday as part of the Saudi-led coalition’s wider plan to facilitate humanitarian action in the war-ravaged country.

“The coalition has committed to increase humanitarian fuel deliveries to one million litres per week over the coming weeks,” Guterres said in a statement on Thursday.

He noted that in light of the dire, unrelenting humanitarian crisis, the fuel will be delivered, based on need, to health facilities and water stations to keep life-saving services running for local communities.

“I also welcome the generous $1 billion pledge by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to support humanitarian action in Yemen, as well as their commitment to raise an additional $500 million from other donors in the region,” he stated.

The 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) was launched on 20 January and seeks $2.96 billion to assist 13.1 million people across the country.

The Secretary-General urged all donors to channel their contributions through the YHRP and rapidly convert pledges into cash for aid agencies.

He renewed his call to all parties to cease hostilities and engage meaningfully with the UN to achieve a lasting political settlement.

“The most effective way to address humanitarian suffering in Yemen is to end the conflict,” he stressed.

Since the escalation of violence in March 2015, when conflict broke out between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement, Yemen, already the poorest in the region, has been left on the verge of a humanitarian collapse.

OCHA/Philippe Kropf

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm