In Yemen, people with disabilities face difficulties fleeing violence and accessing aid. Humanity & Inclusion recently published a case study on the protection of people with disabilities in Yemen, drawing attention to the fact that the UN resolution on this issue adopted by the Security Council in 2019 remains largely unimplemented.
Yasmine Daelman, Humanity & Inclusion’s advocacy advisor, provides her insight.
Q: What is the situation like in Yemen today?
More than seven years of war in Yemen have caused one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world. Around 75% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. Extensive bombing and shelling in populated areas have caused widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure. 150,000 Yemenis have died as a direct result of the armed conflict, but estimates show that the cumulative impact of the fighting, with the continuing deterioration of infrastructures and services, is responsible for a further 380,000 deaths. A temporary truce was declared in April, but it remains to be seen how long it will last, as dozens of violations are being reported every day.
Q: How are people with disabilities affected by living in a war zone like Yemen?
People with disabilities have told us that they are afraid to go outside. They live in constant fear of being injured, as they are unable to escape from explosions or armed clashes. Physical, sensory and intellectual limitations can all prevent a person with disabilities from escaping the violence. Many people with hearing disabilities, for example, have sustained conflict-related injuries because they couldn’t hear and understand what was happening. Not being able to perceive situations of violence causes significant and debilitating feelings of anxiety and psychological distress in these individuals.
The World Health Organization estimates that some 4.8 million people in Yemen have at least one disability, but there is no precise data on their number and situation. What is certain, however, is that this number has increased significantly since the beginning of the war due to conflict-related injuries caused by the widespread use of explosive weapons, and also indirect consequences of the conflict, such as diseases going untreated due to disrupted or inaccessible health services.
People with disabilities are the most marginalized in crisis-affected communities, including in Yemen. Their needs are largely unmet. They live unshielded and unseen, to quote the title of the report we produced in partnership with the Arab Human Rights Foundation. The “Unshielded, Unseen” report discusses the implementation in Yemen of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2475 on the protection of people with disabilities in armed conflict.
Q: Over 4 million people have been internally displaced by violence in Yemen. How are people with disabilities specifically affected by displacement?
Firstly, conflict and displacement increase the risk of people with disabilities being separated from their caregivers. Sometimes, they may even be abandoned: People with physical disabilities, for example, are often unable to flee and so when a family has to escape the violence, they are sometimes left behind.
Secondly, camps for internally displaced people in Yemen lack adequate basic services and accessible infrastructure for people with disabilities, such as toilets and other sanitation facilities. Food distribution points are also difficult to access. As a result, their most basic needs are often unmet. Communication materials and methods in a camp are also not adapted to the needs of people with visual or hearing disabilities, who are therefore excluded from much of the support and assistance provided.
Q: Access to aid and services in Yemen remains extremely restricted. What is the impact on people with disabilities?
Around 60% of people in Yemen live in rural areas, while the vast majority of services still functioning tend to be concentrated around urban centers. The availability of services has also decreased significantly since the war started. At least half of Yemen’s health facilities have been destroyed, become non-functional or damaged to an extent they can no longer operate. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas has destroyed much of the very infrastructure that people with disabilities so desperately need.
Furthermore, an estimated 10 million people across Yemen—around 50% of the population in need—are living in areas where access to services is limited. 81% of the people with disabilities we interviewed told us that they are unable to access humanitarian services: they are too far away; they cannot afford the transport; the roads are too dangerous because they are littered with landmines, and so on. The reasons are many. All of these factors combined make it extremely difficult for people with disabilities to access the services they need.
The challenges they face can also come from barriers such as negative attitudes, misconceptions, and stigma. Another issue is that people with disabilities are often not consulted on their actual needs or asked to share their experiences in coordination spaces and international forums where decisions affecting them are made.
Q: What can be done to improve the situation of people with disabilities in war zones?
All states must strengthen their commitment to the implementation of Resolution 2475. Humanity & Inclusion is seeking to remind all parties to conflicts and their allies worldwide of the utmost necessity to uphold all of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with special attention to article 11 on the rights of people with disabilities in situations of armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies.
States must also ensure that dedicated resources are available to humanitarian and development partners to enable them to mainstream inclusion across humanitarian and development responses and ensure the meaningful participation of groups at risk of discrimination in humanitarian and development programming phases.
Yasmine Daelman, Advocacy Advisor for Humanity & Inclusion
“Unshielded, Unseen: The Implementation of UNSC Resolution 2475 on the Protection of People with Disabilities in Armed Conflict in Yemen”
This report examines the situation of people with disabilities in Yemen in the light of the provisions set forth in UNSC Resolution 2475 and makes recommendations to facilitate the implementation of this resolution in the context of Yemen. For the purposes of this report, Humanity & Inclusion staff conducted a literature review and key informant interviews with representatives from eight local organizations of people with disabilities and talked to affected people and INGO professionals in the field. These interviews and research took place from March to April 2022. The report also contains anecdotal and empirical evidence drawn from Humanity & Inclusion’s experience of implementing activities for and with people with disabilities in Yemen.
In 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2475
On June 20, 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2475, a landmark resolution calling on states and parties to armed conflict to protect people with disabilities in conflict situations and to uphold their rights, including by ensuring they have unimpeded access to justice, basic services and humanitarian assistance. Comprehensive and clear, Resolution 2475 establishes several concrete actions to be taken by states, parties to conflicts, the UN and the international community at large to address the challenges experienced by people with disabilities in situations of armed conflict. However, the impact of the Resolution is entirely dependent on its implementation—and a lack of action on the ground leaves people with disabilities disproportionately affected by conflicts around the world. This is especially the case in Yemen, where some 4.8 million people are estimated to be living with at least one form of disability.
After seven years of war, Yemen is heavily contaminated by mines, remnants of bombs, and other explosive weapons. Humanity & Inclusion is raising awareness about the dangers they pose.
Douglas Kilama, Humanity & Inclusion risk education coordinator, explains how explosive weapons impact Yemen and the civilians living there.
What is the extent of the contamination in Yemen?
It is impossible to have a precise idea or even an estimate of the contamination due to the current fighting and the impossibility to collect data. But Yemen is believed to be one of the most heavily contaminated countries in the world.
I am shocked by the diversity of the contamination here: mines, improvised mines, abandoned explosive ordnances, unexploded ordnances, improvised explosive devices cluster munitions, etc. The extent of the contamination by improvised mines is unbelievable. Analysis of some 2,400 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) since 2017 found that 70% of them are mines of improvised nature: meaning they are detonated by the presence, proximity, or contact of a person or a vehicle.
Contamination is especially high along Yemen’s west coast, near the strategic port of Hodeida, Taiz governorate and more recently around Marib, a focus of intense fighting in 2020. These mines are used in a traditional fashion: in order to slow down or block the progress of enemy forces or protect a strategic point. We also got reports on marine mines and marine improvised mines in Mocha and Hodeida. Civilians are always the first victims of this contamination.
How these IEDs are produced?
There are large stocks of explosive ordnance which are either unexploded or abandoned in Yemen. They can be used as raw material to produce IEDs. After aerial bombings, remnants of exploded bombs can also be used as raw material to produce improvised explosive devices. But parties to armed conflicts are not the only one to use mines. Recent UN experts indicate the rising use of improvised devices by criminal groups.
Where and how do mine-related incidents occur?
The UN Humanitarian Needs Overview for Yemen reported 1,300 civilians “affected in landmine or explosive remnants related incidents” in 2020. Most of the accidents occur during people’s daily activities: going to a well to fetch water, farming crops or tending livestock, using public infrastructures such as roads, buildings, education and health facilities. Accidents occur in urban areas as well as in rural areas. For the vast majority of the population, the presence of this contamination is new, and they do not know how to deal with it. They have no knowledge on the danger. Risk education programs are urgently needed to avoid accident and protect the population.
What action is Humanity & Inclusion taking against this contamination?
We will start awareness campaigns in Mocha and Al-Khokha districts of Taiz and Al-Hodeida governorates respectively as well as Hajjah, Sanaa and Aden governorates in March. We will have eight teams of two Risk Education Agents each to conduct awareness sessions in hospitals, schools, and public infrastructures. We also plan door-to-door sessions in the south, and with internally displaced people at camps as there are still large movements of population to and from Hodeida and Taiz.
The messages are very simple: First, we present images of explosive devices for the audience to recognize the threats. Stop, do not approach or touch, warn others nearby not to approach or touch it, remember the place by putting a warning sign from a safe distance, return the way that you came from and seek a safe route. Report the location of the object to authority.
The audience are also made aware of common places where these items are most likely to be found by teaching them how to identify warning signs and clues indicating possible presence of explosive ordnance in their areas and how to avoid them.
Douglas Felix Kilama is the Risk Education Coordinator for Humanity & Inclusion in Yemen. He is based in Sanaa.
Douglas has 20 years of experience in humanitarian work with specialization in explosive ordnance risk education, victim assistance and protection of children associated with armed forces or groups. In addition to Yemen, he has worked in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jordan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Uganda.
He holds a M.A in Diplomacy & International Studies from Uganda Martyrs University and B.A in Literature and Political Science from Makerere University.
Silver Spring, MD--On Friday, January 21, a series of attacks across Yemen claimed hundreds of casualties, of which 91 people were killed in a mass casualty airstrike on a detention facility in Sa’ada, the most deadly event recorded in more than two years. Around the same time, attacks on a telecom facility housing the country’s key gateway for internet and mobile connectivity plunged the entire nation into the dark. On January 17, a Yemen conflict-related drone attack targeting an oil facility in Abu Dhabi had also killed three people. Humanity & Inclusion urges the parties to the conflict to protect civilians from the horror of the ongoing violence and to stop the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
The attacks on the detention center in the Northern city of Sa’ada killed 91 people and injured hundreds. Hospitals were overwhelmed by a mass influx of wounded people and reportedly, unable to provide assistance to everyone affected due to limited capacities and emergency supplies.
Other casualties were reported in Hodeidah, where at least three children were killed and many more injured. At the same time, internet and mobile phone networks were lost across the entire nation following attacks on a key telecom facility. The incident severely impacted civilians and humanitarian operations alike, leaving Humanity & Inclusion’s operational communications disrupted for several days.
Other telecommunications sites were also targeted, exacerbating the isolating impact of the conflict on civilians, while an attack on a water reservoir in Sa’ada earlier this month cut 120,000 people off from clean water supply. Numerous airstrikes were further conducted in the vicinity of hospitals and health facilities in the past few days, several of which were reported to have sustained damages as a result.
Although recent escalations have renewed attention for the seven-year-standing brutal armed conflict, the use of indiscriminate airstrikes, artillery shelling and virtually every form of explosive weaponry by both parties to the conflict has never stopped at any point.
Seven years of uninterrupted and systematic destruction of civilian infrastructure has caused death and injury, contributed to hunger and disease, and dramatically reduced the ability of the population to access essential services such as healthcare, clean water and electricity. With over two-thirds of the population considered in need of humanitarian aid, all infrastructure and public services are absolutely indispensable to the survival of the Yemeni people.
“Explosive weapons not only cause death and injury, but wide-scale destruction of hospitals, schools and housing in areas far beyond the initial point of impact as well. Their effects can never be limited to a single structure or service, and in Yemen, these domino effects have shown to be just as deadly as the initial impact of an attack. Bombs and shelling never hit in isolation.”
-- Antoine Jeune, Humanity & Inclusion Yemen Country Director
Humanity & Inclusion urges all parties to the conflict and their allies to abide by their obligations under International Humanitarian Law.
Parties to the conflict and their allies should protect the civilian populations from the horror of the ongoing violence, stop the use of explosive weapons in populated areas as they risk severe harm to civilians and take immediate, practical, measures to eliminate their impact on civilians and civilian infrastructure.
As violence continues to escalate after the Human Rights Council voted to end the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts, the only international and independent body tasked with investigating alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to the conflict, we also call on the international community to urgently reinstate an international independent monitoring and reporting mechanism on Yemen.
About Humanity & Inclusion
Humanity & Inclusion is an independent international aid organization. It has been working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster for 40 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and other people living in situations of extreme vulnerability, our action and testimony are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions, and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Since it was founded in 1982, Humanity & Inclusion has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, jointly manage projects, and to increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 and the winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Humanity & Inclusion takes action and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task.
Aid agencies operating in Yemen are horrified by the news that more than 70 people, including migrants, women and children, were killed in Hodaida and Sada on Friday morning, in a blatant disregard for civilian lives.
In Sada, a holding facility for migrants was attacked overnight, among other buildings, killing 67 people and injuring 108, according to initial reports.
Initial hospital reports suggest more than 100 people, mostly migrants, were also injured, and the true numbers might be higher as aid workers and paramedics clear the rubble and verify the information.
In Hodaida, three children were killed while playing on a soccer field, and at least five adults injured, after airstrikes, which also damaged a telecommunication center downing internet connection across the country and disrupting phone lines in several governorates.
The escalation comes after the Human Rights Council voted to end the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts, the only international and independent body tasked with investigating the examination of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights and other appropriate and applicable fields of international law committed by all parties to the conflict.
These airstrikes come after three medical facilities and one water reservoir were attacked this week alone.
Aid agencies operating in Yemen call on parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law and protect civilians and civilian infrastructure during hostilities.
We also call on the international community to ensure accountability for all violations and abuses against children and civilians, through the urgent reinstatement of an international independent monitoring and reporting mechanism on Yemen and the establishment of an adequately resourced and sufficiently staffed international investigative mechanism for the country.
Action Against Hunger
Danish Refugee Council
Humanity & Inclusion
Norwegian Refugee Council
Save the Children
Aid agencies operating in Yemen are extremely concerned over escalation of fighting across the country, as a single attack last week hit water reservoirs in Sa’ada city, effectively cutting off 120,000 people from accessing safe water.
The attack on Sa’ada comes amid an escalation in violence across the country, where the last three months of 2021 recorded a 60 percent increase in civilian casualties compared to the previous quarter.
Civilians continue to bear the brunt of seven years of war that has created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.
All parties to the conflict must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law and must take all necessary measures to protect civilians and public infrastructure, including healthcare, education and water facilities during the conduct of hostilities.
Yemen is one of the world’s most water scarce countries with 15.4 million people requiring support to access to water and sanitation services, 8.7 million of whom are of acute need. Disruption of one of the most basic needs for Yemenis, also raises the risk of surge of communicable diseases such as cholera and heightens the likelihood of malnutrition.
Action Against Hunger
Danish Refugee Council
Humanity & Inclusion
Norwegian Refugee Council
Save the Children
Inter-agency statement on the fifth year of the Sana’a airport closure
For the past five years, Sana’a International airport has remained closed to commercial flights due to restrictions imposed by the Saudi-led Coalition on Yemen’s airspace, and disagreement over the terms of its reopening between Ansar Allah and the Internationally Recognized Government and Saudi Arabia has led to its continued closure, impeding thousands of civilians’ access to lifesaving assistance, nine aid agencies warned today.
Since 2016, aid agencies have been raising the alarm over the deadly impact of the closure. At least 32,000 people may have died prematurely as a result, according to the Ministry of Health and Population in Sana’a (2019). Not only does its continued closure prevent thousands of patients with critical conditions from seeking medical treatment abroad, but it also prevents essential medical supplies and equipment from entering the country.
For 70% of Yemenis living in northern areas, the only alternative is to take lengthy journeys across active conflict lines to reach the nearest airport, incurring substantial costs that many cannot afford.
Aid agencies have repeatedly called for the immediate reopening of Sana’a airport to alleviate the suffering of civilians and ensure the free flow of humanitarian and commercial goods throughout Yemen. In February last year, the airport was briefly opened to allow a limited number of patients in need of urgent medical care to leave the country. The hope that this could support confidence building between warring parties and eventually lead to the full reopening of Sana’a airport was, unfortunately, short-lived. In addition to compromising the lives of patients in need of urgent treatment, the continued closure of the airport, coupled with restrictions on Hodeida port exacerbates the suffering of people across Yemen.
The closure of the airport continues to prevent Yemenis from travelling, infringing on their right to freedom of movement. It has put the futures of many students on hold, as they can no longer pursue their studies abroad. The continued closure of the airport is also causing significant economic losses.
After nearly seven years of conflict, Yemen remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. 20 million people - over 66% of the country’s 30.5 million population - are in need of humanitarian assistance, 13 million of which are at risk of starvation.
Aid agencies are therefore calling on Saudi Arabia, Ansar Allah and the Internationally Recognized Government to reopen Sana’a airport to alleviate the humanitarian situation.
Handicap International - Humanity & Inclusion
International Medical Corps
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Norwegian Refugees Council
Search for Common Ground
Save the Children
A prolonged fuel shortage is complicating the delivery of humanitarian aid, worsening the crisis in Yemen. Caroline Dauber, Humanity & Inclusion’s country director for Yemen, explains how civilians are impacted.
In May 2020, Humanity & Inclusion and other NGOs alerted the United Nations and States on the profound consequences of the fuel crisis in Yemen, exacerbating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Caused by war, the current fuel shortage has recently taken on unprecedented proportions: Fuel imports from Hodeidah, Yemen’s main port and lifeline, decreased by 91% between January and April this year. For the first time, the number of imports dropped to zero in February.
As a result, the prices of goods and services have skyrocketed. Fruits and vegetables are becoming luxury commodities, and food prices continue to increase on a monthly basis. In some areas, the price of water has doubled.
Delivering humanitarian aid
The ability of Humanity & Inclusion and other humanitarian organizations to deliver assistance to those with the greatest need has also been affected. Transportation costs are soaring, preventing people from reaching life-saving assistance and medical treatment.
Health providers report problems operating medical equipment that requires generators. The fuel shortage has forced some health agencies to reduce their activities and triage patients to treat those with only the most serious conditions.
Some agencies are struggling with water disposal services and provision in camps for displaced people. As waste management trucks cease operations, trash in displacement camps accumulates rapidly, increasing the risk of disease.
The water office in Hajjah, which used to provide water to displaced communities twice a month, can only do so once a month. People unable to purchase clean and safe water from water trucks are resorting to drinking dirty or saline water. Other vital services such as food distribution are also affected, as delivery teams report delays.
Some aid agencies may scale down activities and reduce the number of people assisted to meet increasing costs for contracted goods and services. A growing number of people in desperate need will be left unassisted.
Millions in need
- 20 million people—or 66% of the population—in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance
- 16 million people are food insecure
- 15 million people struggle to access clean water
- 4 million people have been forced from their homes
HI in Yemen
Humanity & Inclusion has 80 staff members in nine health facilities working to serve the Yemeni population. Since Humanity & Inclusion began working in Yemen in 2015 teams have:
- Offered rehabilitation sessions and instruction to 30,633 people
- Provided psychosocial support and counseling sessions to 22,999 people
- Equipped people with 35,371 mobility aids, including crutches and wheelchairs
- Fitted 522 people with artificial limbs and braces
- Distributed 2,250 hygiene kits
- Trained 807 medical staff in rehabilitation
- Offered financial support to nearly 700 households
Image: Destruction in Aden, Yemen. Copyright: ISNA Agency/HI
Abdullah was playing outside with his friends, when an airstrike blasted his village in Yemen. After doctors amputated his leg, Humanity & Inclusion helped Abdullah stand tall again.
The attack in December 2019, deeply affected Abdullah, 12. Not only was he gravely injured, but his cousin, who was like a brother to him, was killed. In an effort to save his life, Abdullah was rushed to Al Kuwait Hospital in Sana’a, where his leg was amputated.
The hospital is more than five hours from Al-Hudaida, where Abdullah lives with 11 siblings and his parents in a small house. Until recently, the village was the scene of frequent fighting and airstrikes. Living in poverty and isolation, Abdullah’s family does not have access to health services, electricity, food or water. The nearest school is miles away. For Abdullah and his family, getting the boy fitted for a prosthetic leg seemed out of reach at first.
Confined to the hospital for almost a month, Abdullah struggled with the grief of losing his cousin. He worried he would never play, walk or run again.
Traumatized, Abdullah was afraid of the doctors who came to see him. He screamed whenever physical therapists tried to do rehabilitation exercises with him. He was completely lost. Everything frightened him.
Humanity & Inclusion’s team took the time to reassure him and build his confidence. The team gave him psychological support and rehabilitation care. He went from using a wheelchair to crutches.
Then, the team fitted him with a below-the-knee prosthetic leg, and conducted rehabilitation sessions to help strengthen his muscles and teach him to walk again. The team also taught Abdullah and one of his brothers how to maintain and clean the artificial limb.
Abdullah is now walking with the help of his new leg. He will receive new prosthetics as he grows.
Humanity & Inclusion in Yemen
Yemen has been devastated by an ongoing conflict that began in March 2015. Humanity & Inclusion teams work in nine health centers and treats patients from all over the country. Since Humanity & Inclusion began its operations in Yemen six years ago, teams have treated 30,000 people, many of them victims of the conflict. More than 3,000 people were victims of explosive weapons such as bombings, explosive remnants of war, landmines, and improvised explosive devices.
Humanity & Inclusion has provided more than 35,000 crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and other mobility aids to people in Yemen. More than 500 people have been fitted with prosthetics and orthotics through Humanity & Inclusion's collaboration with the Sana'a Physical Therapy and Prosthesis Center.
In additional to physical rehabilitation, nearly 23,000 people have received psychological support from Humanity & Inclusion. More than 800 Yemeni health workers have been trained in early trauma response. Support Yemenis with disabilities affected by the ongoing conflict.
Header image: A boy named Abdullah holds his amputated leg while waiting to be fitted with a prosthetic in Yemen. Copyright: ISNA Agency/HI
Inline image: Abdullah, 12, practices walking over obstacles with his new prosthetic leg in Yemen. Copyright: ISNA Agency/HI
Humanity & Inclusion has built a new rehabilitation unit in Sana’a, North Yemen, where patients will have access to specific rehabilitation equipment such as treatment tables, shoulder wheels and exercise bikes.
Yemen has been torn apart by five years of conflict. Before the conflict, rehabilitation services were already deeply insufficient. Now, these needs have skyrocketed with half of the country's medical infrastructures unable to operate.
Humanity & Inclusion's new rehabilitation unit at the Al Kuwait hospital, one of the main hospitals in Sana’a, will enable patients to receive the high-quality medical support they need before being discharged. The rehabilitation unit will be run by one physical therapist and three assistants trained by Humanity & Inclusion.
This project is possible thanks to the support of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and Luxembourg.
Who will benefit from the new rehabilitation unit?
300 patients are expected to benefit from the new facility every month. This will include inpatients from every hospital department such as orthopedic, neurological and surgical departments as well as outpatients.
The injuries of the patients who will be treated at this unit will vary from those caused by traffic accidents to those caused by airstrikes or explosive devices arising from the ongoing conflict. Patients may also receive rehabilitation support if they experience chronic diseases or have disabilities. Other NGOs will refer patients to Humanity & Inclusion’s unit if they are on a list to receive prosthetics or orthotics.
Why is the rehabilitation unit so vital?
Al Kuwait hospital is the third largest public hospital in the capital with a capacity of around 300 beds. Patients who are admitted to this hospital travel from different regions within an average radius of 125 miles.
Rehabilitation work in Yemen
- Humanity & Inclusion’s team operates in nine health facilities across Sana’a, Aden and Mokha and has supported 30,000 beneficiaries since its operations started in late 2015.
- 34,000 mobility aids have been distributed since 2015, including equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs, walking sticks/canes, walkers, etc.
- Almost 500 people have been provided with prosthetics or orthotics.
- Humanity & Inclusion has helped train nearly 900 medical professionals.
Adapting to Covid-19
Humanity & Inclusion has adapted its activities in Yemen in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For example:
- Humanity & Inclusion has provided staff and patients with hygiene kits and personal protective equipment.
- The team has also worked to set up information sessions for the most vulnerable populations to highlight the risks and raise awareness of the pandemic.
- A telephone line has been set up to allow staff to continue monitoring patients and their families remotely.
- Humanity & Inclusion has followed more than 200 patients with Covid-19, identifying their needs, and referring them to the appropriate services.
Image: Two treatment tables and other equipment are shown in a room at Humanity & Inclusion's new rehabilitation unit in Yemen. Copyright: HI
Eight international non-governmental organizations working in Yemen strongly condemn the reprehensible attack that took place on Monday July 15, in the north of Yemen, killing 13 civilians – including four children.
Mohamed Abdi, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Yemen, said: “These 13 people should not have come under attack and their families should not be mourning them today. An investigation must take place, and warring parties responsible for their deaths must be held accountable if it is confirmed that this strike violated international humanitarian law.”
This morning also saw numerous airstrikes on Sana’a, including in residential areas.
The attack on 13 civilians happened the same day as the publication of the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict report, which saw the Saudi Arabia and UAE-led coalition removed from the report’s blacklist for the first time in three years. This is despite the fact that, according to the report, the coalition killed or injured 222 children in Yemen last year. In total, all parties to the conflict were responsible for 689 such casualties last year.
A unilateral ceasefire was announced by Saudi Arabia in April, but there was little evidence that this translated on the ground, and it has since ended. Violence by all parties to the conflict has continued, even during the ceasefire, including airstrikes and shelling.
Muhsin Siddiquey, Country Director of Oxfam in Yemen, said: “We condemn all violence by all parties to the conflict. What the people of Yemen need now more than ever is a nationwide ceasefire, and a return to negotiations between the warring parties. More than five years since the escalation of this bloody conflict, it is high time that action is taken to ensure that peace can return to Yemen.”
INGO signatories of the statement:
- Danish Refugee Council
- Handicap International/Humanity & Inclusion
- Mercy Corps
- Norwegian Refugee Council
- Save the Children
Notes to Editors
- Figures on child casualties can be found within the UN Secretary General’s report on Children and Armed Conflict. According to this report, the coalition will be subject to one year of monitoring and any failure to further decrease child casualties would result in it being listed again next year.
- This attack is in the context of a growing COVID-19 crisis in Yemen which, alongside mass flooding in several parts of the country, has caused an increase in humanitarian need.
- In light of this attack, upcoming UN Security Council meetings on Yemen and on Children and Armed Conflict are opportune moments to reiterate the calls for a permanent ceasefire, and for stronger calls to stop and denounce civilian deaths in conflict.
For media interviews, please contact:
- Sarah Grainger, Oxfam Senior Press Officer, [email protected], +44 781 018 1514
- Riona Judge McCormack, NRC Communications and Media Coordination, [email protected], +353 85 257 1926