Solving Yemen crisis a top priority, says Blinken

Top US diplomat congratulates UN's new Yemen envoy and highlights 'urgent humanitarian priorities'

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for efforts to 'engage all parties without preconditions and secure a ceasefire' in Yemen. AP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said resolving the conflict in Yemen remains a top US foreign policy priority.

Mr Blinken's comment came during a phone call with the newly appointed UN envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg on Tuesday.

The US diplomat discussed with Mr Grundberg efforts to "engage all parties without preconditions and secure a ceasefire, address urgent humanitarian priorities, restart the political process in Yemen, and ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses".

Mr Blinken, according to a statement released by the US Department of State, welcomed the collaboration on the common goal of reaching an inclusive, durable solution to end the conflict in Yemen.

On Monday, Mr Grundberg ended a visit to Oman, where he met the country's officials, Houthi representatives and members of the international community about reaching a comprehensive political solution to the conflict in Yemen.

Unicef on Tuesday said that 10,000 children have now been “killed or maimed” since the war began in 2015.

“That’s the equivalent of four children every day,” Unicef spokesman James Elder said, following a trip to the Houthi-captured north and the government-controlled south of the country.

As it stands, Unicef says four out of every five children need humanitarian assistance. More than two million children are out of school and 400,000 are severely malnourished.

Yemen is now suffering from a multidimensional crisis, from poverty and starvation to a collapsing medical infrastructure and severe water scarcity, said the government and international humanitarian groups.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres west of Marib, prompting Saudi Arabia-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Updated: October 20, 2021, 7:23 AM