UN calls for “urgent humanitarian access” in Yemen

Yemeni find shelter in a blanket. Yemeni find shelter in a blanket. Photo by Constantinis on iStock.

08 March 2021

The United Nations has called for humanitarian access to be facilitated for victims of the explosion in the Yemeni capital.

The first weekend of March witnessed another humanitarian tragedy in Yemen. The explosion of a hangar next to the main building of a detention centre for migrants in the Yemeni capital killed at least eight people, including staff guarding the building, and injured more than 170. Carmela Godeau, Regional Director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the Middle East and North Africa, announced that the death toll and the causes of the incident are yet to be verified, but stressed the IOM's commitment to providing emergency medical assistance to the injured, most of whom are in serious conditions.

The tragedy on Sunday, 7 February took place at the Immigration, Passports and Naturalization Authority Immigration Holding Facility, a detention centre for migrants located in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. About 900 migrants are detained in the centre, and at the time of the explosion more than 350 people were inside the hangar that caught fire. According to the Associated Press, the facility is controlled by the Houthi rebels, who govern large parts of the country, including the capital.

Carmela Godeau emphasized the need to facilitate access for humanitarian operators to bring assistance to the wounded, denouncing the difficulties encountered by personnel due to increased security levels in Yemeni hospitals.  

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Author: Francesca Mencuccini; Editor: Carla Leonetti

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