ALERT – HI Statement at the High-level pledging event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen | April 3, 2018
Today 3rd of April, the United Nations, Sweden and Switzerland are convening a High-Level Pledging Event in Geneva for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. HI delivered a statement in plenary to support the humanitarian response in Yemen and co-signed a joint statement with 21 NGOs calling donors to address the needs of the Yemeni population. […]
Today 3rd of April, the United Nations, Sweden and Switzerland are convening a High-Level Pledging Event in Geneva for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. HI delivered a statement in plenary to support the humanitarian response in Yemen and co-signed a joint statement with 21 NGOs calling donors to address the needs of the Yemeni population.
Statement delivered by Dr. Nathalie Herlemont Zoritchak, Director of HI Foundation, on behalf of Humanity & Inclusion
Mr Secretary General, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As impartial, independent and neutral humanitarian actor, Humanity & Inclusion (new name of Handicap International) is alarmed by the consequences of the conflict among civilians. We do obviously welcome the generous pledge made today to support Yemen population, shall they remain consistent with a necessary independence on their use and based on prioritization of need.
Mr Secretary General, Ministers,
As of today, fighting, including the extensive use of explosive weapons in populated areas, has killed 9,245 people and further injured more than 52 000. It has damaged or destroyed key infrastructures, including schools and health facilities, left a deadly legacy and contamination on the ground, creating high risk for the population and constraining humanitarian access. As of now, humanitarian system in Yemen is yet far from responding to those needs: risk education programs for the population remain scarce, basic and specific services for people injured and persons with disabilities, such as rehabilitation, are limited -if not absent – and psychological support for a population with sky rocketing needs is far from being enough.
Additionally, more than 1.2 million civilians have been identified with specific needs – including female and minor heads of households, persons with disabilities – are at further high risks, with negative coping mechanisms due to the conflict and their experiences. Yet, with an economy that has collapsed and civil servants, including health providers, who have not received salaries for months, support and livelihoods opportunities for those populations are dire.
Humanitarian access is impeded, from a quasi-blockade by the disruption of ports and airport, to continuous bureaucratic impediments across the country, thus worsening the population’s ability to receive essential services.
As of today, there are neither signs of political settlements to the crisis nor any optimism for an end to the conflict in the short to medium term.
HI is thus joining the urgent appeal made by several colleagues, we further call on:
- Parties to the conflict to stop the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas in Yemen and allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access.
And to the donors and humanitarian community to immediately:
- Scale up risk education programs for affected populations to raise their awareness about the risks posed by unexploded weapons as well as consider as soon as feasible, to support clearance programs.
- Increase support to health services, including rehabilitation services, in order to deal with the immediate consequences of the use of explosive weapons and avoid short and long term complications and further impairment. Ensure that psychosocial support get a higher priority.
- Provide long-term medical, psychological, social and economic support to the population, in particular considering persons with new impairment and persons with disabilities to further enhance their inclusion and participation in society.
HI is standing by with partners to continue and scale up our humanitarian response to alleviate the suffering of the population. But there is no other possible way for the population than to stop this conflict and this is responsibility fall on you- States.