Yemen, escalating hostilities are threatening civilians

Alsonainah, Sana'a, Yemen Alsonainah, Sana'a, Yemen Photo by Saif Albadni, on Unsplash

28 January 2021

Increased military clashes in Yemen’s Hudaydah Governorate are putting at risk civilians’ lives affected by ongoing bombings in residential areas. 

The southern areas of Al Hudaydah Governorate are being hit by escalating hostilities increasing concerns for thousands of civilians whose residential areas are being bombed. Especially since early 2015, the Ansar Allah movement, namely the Houthi rebels, has been fighting for control of the Arab nation against Government forces, supported by a Saudi-led coalition. As such, the conflict is causing misery on millions of lives all over the country.

According to the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, preliminary communications state that victims have already been reported and that at least 700 people have been displaced after the damaging of farms and houses in Hays and Ad Durayhimi. More in particular, during the last week of January, eight civilians lost their lives while 120 families were displaced in Ad Durayhimi. 

Mr. Auke Lootsma, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, stated that “Indiscriminate attacks on residential areas are a breach of international humanitarian law and must stop immediately”. Indeed, parties are responsible to protect civilians, nevertheless, shellings have continued with no regard for civilians especially in Ad Durayhimi and At Tuyahat, the southern provinces of Al Hudaydah.

The UN Coordinator in Yemen asked for a ceasefire to allow humanitarian assistance to provide medical support to wounded civilians and material support to internally displaced people (IDP). Some international medical organizations have already engaged in their assistance plan at hospitals in areas affected by conflict. 

According to the UN report, at least 80 percent of the population in Yemen, nearly 24 million people, require humanitarian protection. Furthermore, only a half of the US$3.38 billion needed for the humanitarian assistance in 2020 have been received. As a result, Yemen’s humanitarian crisis remains the world’s worst one.  

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Author: Eleonora Gonnelli; Editor: Benedetta Spizzichino

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