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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 19, 2015 3:00pm-3:31pm EDT

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scared at pushed to starvation, the bleak account of life for a child in yemen. ♪ hello, you are watching al jazeera, live from london, also coming up, violence intensifies in turkey. eight soldiers are killed in a roadside explosion, and a popular tour attraction is targeted. a palestinian hunger striker ends his protest after israel suspends his detention. and isil kills a leading archeologist who spent more than half of his life caring for the
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ancient city of palmyra. ♪ there has been a chilling incite into the impact that yemen's conflict is having on its people, particularly the children. the u.n.'s children's agency says the country is one of the most terrifying place in this world to be a child. a fifth of the population is severely food insecure and will need urgent help to survive. >> reporter: once their playground these streets are now a battle ground. for the children of yemen, war means being forced to grow up quickly. >> translator: my sisters and i get so frightened when we hear the bullets. we're afraid that we'll die. >> translator: i'm frightened when i hear war planes. i can't sleep.
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>> reporter: the grim statistics support their fears. on average three children are killed in the fighting every day, five more are wounded, many maimed for life. >> these deaths are unnecessary, and the vast majority of the people in yemen have nothing do with this. they want to go about, they want to live their lives. they want to educate their children and see their children grow up. and they don't want this. and -- and they are suffering unnecessarily. >> reporter: it's not just about direct attacks. even before the conflict, access to food and water in this impoverished country was difficult. that situation is far more dire now. children who don't have enough to eat are turning up in hospitals. nearly 2 million expected to suffer from malnutrition this year. the u.n.'s world food program estimates one in every five
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yemenese is severely food insecure. >> between the lack of availability of food, the lack of access by humanitarians to the vulnerable population, the lack of access by those who can't buy food, the lack of fuel for people to move around the country, for us to mill grain when it comes in, and the lack of clean water, a perfect storm that is brewing inside of yemen right now. >> reporter: every facet of life has been disrupted. markets with limited food. hospitals strained to the limit, schools unable to stay open. the concern is that children will continue to bare the brunt of this war long after the fighting is over. gerald tan, al jazeera. >> for more on this story we're joined by gabriel at the united nations. this report telling what we
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really already know that the young and the innocent are suffering the most from this war in yemen. i expect we'll hear on that from the humanitarian chief who is expected to speak shortly. >> reporter: that's right. steven o'brien will be briefing the u.n. security council momentarily within the next few minutes we expect. we just spent several days on the ground in yemen, where we got a better sense of the humanitarian crisis that is really engulfing that country right now. we'll be listening to what he has to say. we heard briefly from o'brien briefly while he was still in the country. he reported back that the situation was desperate. he said especially aden was devastated after three months of intense violence. 200,000 people in aden forced to
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flee their homes, and 800,000 in aden -- almost the entire population -- in need of some sort of humanitarian assistance. o'brien is also expected to address the real problems -- >> gabe, let me jump in there, sorry to interrupt you. but we can hear from the humanitarian chief, steven o'brien. let's listen in. >> -- most of whom were working tirelessly on the humanitarian relief effort in iraq. sadly in the year since then, the number of people attacked while delivering life-saving assistance continues to rise. every month in 2014 ten were killed. in syria 77 humanitarians have lost their lives. in yemen five aid workers have been killed, others injured, and another two kidnapped this year. in the last two years, 17
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humanitarians have died in the line of duty. and 44 have been kidnapped. the context in which humanitarian workers serve around the world, and the terrible plight of those in need of assistance that they seek to reach continue to deteriorate. madam president, i have just returned from yemen where the scale of human suffering is almost incomprehensible. the civilian population is bearing the brunt of the conflict. a shocking four out of five yemenese require assistance, and nearly 1.5 million people are internally displaced. more than 1,000 children have been killed or injured, and a number of young people recruited or used as fighters is increasing. as i highlighted in my 28th july
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report, the needs of the people is massive. humanitarian assistance alone cannot meet all of the needs of an entire country with a population of 26 million people. this is why airports and sea ports need to remain open and be used for commercial imports and humanitarian supplies without restrictions. disregard for human life by all parties continues with a tax on residential areas and civilian infrastructure, having a disproportionate impact on the lives of ordinary people in yemen. reports of air strikes and other shelling in and around the port earlier this week damaged the main lifelines for the import of basic goods, food, medicines, and fuel. these attacks are in clear contravention of international humanitarian law and are unacceptable. i am extremely concerned that the damage to the port could
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have a severe impact on the entire country and would deepen humanitarian needs making more people food insecure, leaving them without access to water or medicines, and which could also mean the spread of disease. madam president, the parties to the conflict must ensure that humanitarian aid is facilitated and not hinders. all parties must respect and implement international humanitarian law and possible violations must be investigated and perpetrators held accountable. i have seen the anguish of the yemeni people with my own eyes. men, women, and children alike, unsure of where their next meal will come from. in sana'a, i witnessed queues for fuel which were several kilometers long. i visited the hospital where the
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lights flickers as the generator ran out of fuel. there i saw a young man injured by shrapnel, he said he had been a soldier since he was 15 years old. i saw a young somali man with tuberculosis. the hospital has run out of examination gloves, and the supply in dubai is unable to fly their aircraft to sana'a. hospital staff informed me that the blood bank recently closed due to a shortage of laboratory reagents. a neighborhood in sana'a, i saw homes destroyed by air strikes. neighbors told me of the numerous civilian deaths and injuries. in aden an entire road of homes were destroyed, leaving the
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streets littered with tanks. i heard the story of a father and his daughter being closed by an device just days earlier. basic services were being restored, but not in vast situates of the community. electricity, essential for water pumping and cereal milling is rare and intermittent. madam president it is appropriate to reflect on the courage of my colleagues, yemeni and international who continue to deliver vital assistance despite the tremendous challenges, often risking their own lives to help others. since the conflict began in late
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march, nearly 7 million people have been supported by u.n. agencies and their partners with food, water, shelter, and other assistance. i am humbled by their tireless efforts. but much more needs to be done. we continue to scale up the humanitarian response to we can reach all in need. this means more staff across the country. we aim to establish operational hubs in ibb, and other regions, soon as the security situation allows. madam president, the success of our effort to continue to assist the people depends on our having sufficient resources to respond. today the world food program warned again that a lack of immediate and unhinders access to people who urgently need food
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assistance, creates the possibility of famine for millions of yemenese. some 282 million usd of the $1.6 billion asked has been received. u.n. agencies have still not received the funding from saudi arabia of 274 million pledged in april. even once these are received the response plan will only be funded at 33%. substantial additional resources will be needed to support the yemeni people through the rest of this year and beyond. throughout my mission, i'm fa size that peace is essential. there is no military solution to this conflict. peace must be reached through a dialogue of words, not a dialogue of weapons. we the international community
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must match our actions with our words and take immediate measures to end the violence which is destroying the lives of millions across the country. we must get the parties to stop the fighting and return to the negotiating table before it is too late. otherwise there will be nothing left to fight for. madam president as we reflect on the state of play globally on world humanitarian day, we unfortunately see a worsening situation and a scale of needless humanitarian suffering that is truly shocking. we must act. we must do more to ensure that those in our position to prevent the abuses of those who can do nothing are stopped and that those who continue to carry them out are held to account. thank you. >> all right. we have been listening to the u.n. humanitarian chief, steven o'brien speaking at the united
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nations in new york. really quite a moving testimony from him describing the scale of the humanitarian suffering in yemen. he says it is incomprehensible, and the civilian population is bearing the brunth of the conflict. he said more than a thousand children have been killed or injured, others recruited by armed groups and forced into fighting. he described his recent visit to the country and said he was shocked by what he saw. he saw the anguish of the yemeni people with his own eyes, describes queues for fuel to meet their needs, and the poor state of the hospitals there, and really a very sorry state of affairs at the moment. let's speak to gabriel at the united nations for us. and really, the bottom line seems to be that you have millions in need of aid, the u.n. is struggling to meet those
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needs, what can they do now to help the people of yemen in terms of getting more food, fuel, and medicine into the country? >> well, the u.n. clearly needs a security situation to get better on the ground there, and i think that's really what steven o'brien was trying to stress in this briefing to the security council. i think there are two key things that came out of this. number one, he painted a very, very gloomy and dark picture of the humanitarian situation on the ground there. saying four out of five are in need of some sort of humanitarian assistance. and he talked about the difficulty to get aid into the country. he mentioned the port that has been under air strikes recently. he said that is clearly going to impede getting in aid to the country. and we're talking about basic things such as fuel for example, which is needed to power
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generators. water tanks, electricity. he also gave examples of a hospital no longer having proper medic medical governments and humanitarian aid from dubai not being able to land in yemen. the people on the ground are suffering the most as mr. o'brien said, but the und the -- u.n. themselves don't have operational hubs set up. he said he has to wait for the security situation to get better there to do that. i think the second key point to all of this that he briefed the council on is how much aid money they still need to meet the growing demands. the u.n. has asked for $1.6 billion is what is needed in humanitarian assistance. according to mr. o'brien in his
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briefs moments ago, he said the u.n. has only received 282 million, that's only about 18% of what they need. he also said that more than 270 million pledged by saudi arabia has yet to be received by the under. so we have multiple problems here, but i think o'brien clearly painted a very troubling picture of the situation on the ground in yemen, and also a very troubling situation on how the underis going to come up with this money once they are able to really get a strong humanitarian effort underway, how they are going to fund that. >> he did indeed. thank you very much gabriel. still to come, we will bring you the day's other stories including thai police identify the main suspect in monday's bangkok bombing and say he wasn't acting alone. and new allegations of rape against u.n. peace keepers in the central african republic. that story coming up as well.
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♪ welcome back. you are watching al jazeera. let's take you through the top stories that we're covering this hour. the united nations security council members have just been briefed about the situation in yemen. the scale of humanitarian devastation is indescribable. at least eight children are
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killed or injured every single day. well, now in our other stories, turkey's president says the country is moving swiftly towards early elections. the prime minister and his party failed to form a working government, after losing a parliamentary majority in the elections. the president could give the mandate to form a new government to another party, but hinted that he wouldn't do that. >> translator: fortunately turkey has not founded a new government yet. we again need to ask the will of the people to find a solution. i'm conducting this process within the framework of the constitution. >> all of this is happening against a backdrop of increased violence in turkey. eight soldiers were killed. two men were arrested after they threw a precushion bomb out of the palace in istanbul, and there has been renewed violence
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between the pkk and forces. a ferry has left kos, to take the refugees to the mainland. 21,000 people have landed on greek shores in the last week alone. thousands of refugees remain in kos, they have survived the short-term journey across the sea from turkey. as jonah hull reports. >> reporter: an early-morning rescue by the greek coast guard. yet another vessel in distress. many others do make it across. this is a family of syrian refugees who finally arrived on the shores kos. an island in the european union.
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>> very dangerous. too [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: did you pay somebody to give you this boat? >> yeah, $1,000. >> reporter: per person? >> yeah, 500 for children. >> reporter: the shoreline is littered with the recommend innocence of overnight arrivals. it is a fairly short but sometimes perilous crossing from turkey. on monday night six people including a child are confirmed to have drowned when their dingy overturned. this boat arrived at 2:00 am according to a witness by a nearby hotel who saw up to 50 people, syrians he believed clamber off and disappear down the beach. a boat like this represents the business class end. it's fast, and relatively safe. and it is estimated that those on board would have paid around $2,000 a head to make the journey. this is the budget airline
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equivalent. a flipsy dingy powered with a motor that often fails, pedals and tires for life vests. >> reporter: these pakistanis were lucky to survive using such a vessel. >> he is saying we are coming at the site. our battery is empty. our battery laster, and we row -- we row the ship, and at this time, plea of us, we row the ship three of us at the sea -- >> reporter: so the boat was drifting and then the coast guard -- >> the coast guard rescued them, all of them. >> reporter: the coast guard returns to port, not for the first time this morning heavily laden once again. and it won't be the last. jonah hull, al jazeera. palestinian unger striker has ended his protest. israel suspended his detention while he received medical treatment. he had not eaten for 65 days.
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he denies allegations that he is affiliated to the group islamic jihad. mri tests show he has suffered brain damage. new allegations of rape by u.n. peace keepers in the central african republic. the families of three young women claim they were raped by three members of the contingent. the allegations were made a week ago. for more on this kristen sal loommy joins us live from the united nations. tell us what has been said. >> reporter: three allegations of rape from three young women, one of them a minor for a peace keeping mission that has been plagued by acquisitions of wrongdoing for pretty much its entire existence in the central african republic. we know one woman was a minor.
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and the allegations were actually reported on the very same day that secretary general ban ki-moon fired the head of the central african republic's mission because of so many reports of wrongdoing among the troops there in the last year plus, there have been some 61 accusations of wrongdoing, 13 of those involved sexual misconduct on the part of peace keepers, allegedly. so it has been a very troubling time for this mission, and as far as these new allegations are concerned there are very few details that we have at this point. have a listen. >> on the central african republic the undermission there said this morning that a new series of allegations of misconduct have recently come to light. the corrects allegedly took
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place in recent weeks. three young females were raped by three members of a military con tin genth. the allegations were reported to the mission's human rights division on the 12th of august. >> reporter: under the rules that the u.n. has with its troops contributing countries, it's up to the countries where these peace keepers are from to investigate and charge these peace keepers if they are found in fact to have done something wrong. the u.n. has said that they are going to wait ten days to give these countries time to announce whether or not they are investigating, and if they do not, the u.n. will step in. clearly the u.n. has had enough of these allegations. ban ki-moon said enough is enough. we have to get this under control. and it looks like that's what the u.n. is now trying to do with these latest allegations.
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now thai police have issued an arrest warrant for the main suspect in monday's bomb in bangkok which killed 22 people. he was filmed carrying a sack and then walking away from it just minutes before the explosion. police say they are also looking for two other men seen in the video. a japanese rocket is on its way to the international space station in the latest attempt to send supplies to the six-man crew. >> three, two, one, engines igniting, solid rocket boosters and liftoff. >> it lifted off in southern japan after a delay for bad weather. the else have is expected to reach the space station on monday. south korea is beginning work to raise the ferry which
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capsized last week, killing more than 300 people. relatives hope the recovery will allow nine missing bodies to be found. and an unusual protest by a group of workers who know a lot about social organization. they recruited half a million leaf-cutter ants at a zoo in germany to send a message about deforestation in the amazon. the protesters aimed at chancellor angela merkel who is visiting brazil this week. you can go to our website for the latest on everything we have been covering. the address is we just heard from steven o'brien, saying humanitarian assistance alone can't meet the
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needs of a country the size of yemen, and more must be done to help the millions of people in need of food, water, and aid. and the top story on our website, israel suspending the detention of a palestinian hunger striker. you can read more on that as well. abolished, by law. but behind the high walls of many city homes here, young girls continue to serve as slaves. known as kamlari, they are the daughters of indebted farmers, sold to landlords for little to no money.