More must be done to protect and access civilians with humanitarian assistance
YEMEN-(April 22, 2015)–Although airstrikes have been declared over, instability remains and the humanitarian needs continue to skyrocket. Humanitarian access must improve and a political solution reached, or Yemen could face a humanitarian catastrophe, warns CARE.
“We welcome the end of the airstrikes, but civilians continue to pay the highest price in this conflict and more must be done to protect them. Aid agencies still face major challenges in reaching civilians with desperately-needed relief supplies, and resources are running alarmingly low throughout the country,” said Daw Mohamed, CARE Country Director in Yemen. “The declared halt on airstrikes must be followed with a swift political solution that brings a permanent end to the violence and instability, before more innocent lives are lost.”
Since the airstrikes began on March 26, conflict spread across the majority of the country resulting in over 1,000 deaths, more than 4,000 injured and at least 150,000 people displaced. Basic infrastructure is crumbling with public buildings such as schools and hospitals damaged, and innocent civilians have come under fire.
Millions of people are at risk of harm or death not only due to the fighting, but also to lack of food, water and healthcare. The current naval and air blockade is making it difficult to import life-saving relief supplies and the continued fighting is preventing civilians from being reached with supplies that are vital for their survival.
Before this recent eruption of violence, Yemen was already on the verge of a humanitarian crisis with over 60 percent of the population reliant on aid and an overwhelming majority of the country dependent on food imports. With the current conflict and blockade, water, electricity, fuel and food supplies are running dangerously low and prices are soaring.
Women and children are especially vulnerable. The damage and closure of hospitals will impact the approximate 700,000 pregnant women who rely on chronic healthcare. UNICEF estimates that 77 children have been killed and 44 maimed with that number is expected to rise significantly, as an estimated one-third of the soldiers are minors.
The humanitarian situation is deteriorating quickly, and the impact of the fighting on civilians is of grave concern. CARE calls on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and to allow the import of critical supplies into the country. Conflicting parties must also allow aid agencies to safely deliver life-saving aid to those in need throughout Yemen, and quickly reach a political solution that brings an end to the violence.
Media Contact: Holly Frew email@example.com +1.770.842.6188
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.