World

AP interview: Red Cross president: 'Yemen after 5 months looks like Syria after 5 years'

  • The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, gestures during an interview with The Associated Press  at the organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday  Aug. 19, 2015. ( AP Photo/Frank Jordans)

    The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at the organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday Aug. 19, 2015. ( AP Photo/Frank Jordans)  (The Associated Press)

  • The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, gestures during an interview with The Associated Press  at the organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday  Aug. 19, 2015.   ( AP Photo/Frank Jordans)

    The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at the organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday Aug. 19, 2015. ( AP Photo/Frank Jordans)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Yemeni boy rolls a canister of gas through a street, after waiting for hours to buy one in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    A Yemeni boy rolls a canister of gas through a street, after waiting for hours to buy one in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The head of the international Red Cross says "Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years."

Peter Maurer, fresh off a trip to Yemen, said entrenched poverty, months of intensified warfare and limits on imports because of an international embargo have contributed to "catastrophic" conditions. The conflict has left more than 1,900 people dead since March.

In an interview, Maurer contrasted Yemen's war with others in the Middle East "where infrastructures are better off, and people are wealthier and have reserves and can escape."

The conflict pits Shiite rebels known as Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, militias, Sunni militants and troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia.