UN aid chief: Yemen talks not an 'easy or rapid process'

December 04, 2018 - 5:36 am

GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations humanitarian aid chief says he doesn't expect an "easy or rapid process" in peace talks involving warring sides in Yemen, which faces the world's largest humanitarian crisis.

Mark Lowcock, who heads the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, made the comments to The Associated Press after laying out the organization's 2019 humanitarian appeal.

Lowcock on Monday referred to U.N.-mediated peace talks in Sweden that begin this week, saying the "onus" is on Yemen's government and Iran-aligned rebels to "take this seriously and act in a responsible way."

OCHA says $21.9 billion is needed next year for food, shelter, health care, education, protection and other assistance. It predicts nearly 132 million people in 42 countries will need assistance.

The appeal says Yemen "is closer to famine than ever before."

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