Giving voice to Yemen’s voiceless: Jamie McGoldrick reflects on two years leading UN’s relief effort

1 February 2018

Jamie McGoldrick, who has stepped down as the UN's top humanitarian official in Yemen, reflects on his tenure in the war-torn country and the challenges for relief workers in an increasingly complex crisis.

This year’s UN Response Plan for Yemen, describes the war-torn country as “the worst man-made humanitarian crisis” in the world, with more than 22 million people – around three-quarters of the total population – in need of help.

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.

Over the past few years, it’s the voice of Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick, that has been drawing the world’s attention the most loudly, and the most often, to Yemen’s plight.

He had extensive experience as a senior manager with the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA), before arriving in Yemen, in December 2015, and for our latest UN News interview podcast, he explains why he’s just stepped down from the job, and what it has been like to oversee one of the most difficult and challenging aid operations in the world.

Mr. McGoldrick tells UN News that to deliver aid to an increasingly desperate population in Yemen, there’s “no point in getting angry, there’s no point in getting frustrated, the point is to get smart.”

 

AUDIO: Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, speaks to UN News about why he stepped down from the job, and what it has been like to oversee one of the most challenging aid operations in the world.

 

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