Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade Brendan Smith says a concerted effort is needed by the international community to try and negotiate a lasting settlement to the appalling conflict in Yemen.

Deputy Smith described the situation as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

“I welcome the news that Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy of Yemen, has informed the UN Security Council that he will convene the country’s first talks in two years to try and secure peace between Saudi-backed forces and Houthi rebels on September 6th in Geneva. However, this announcement came in the aftermath of a deadly airstrike in the port city Hudaydah which has left at least 20 people dead and scores of others injured”, said Deputy Smith.

“The scale of this crisis is truly shocking; three quarters of the population are estimated to require some form of humanitarian assistance and many are said to be at risk of disease and malnutrition. Moreover, restrictions on access to life-saving supplies are putting millions at risk.

“I recognise that there are many ongoing conflicts throughout the globe but the spotlight needs to be shone on Yemen and a concerted effort needs to be made by the international community to improve access to humanitarian assistance, prevent breaches of international law and to ensure that the peace talks proceed as planned on September 6th”.