ALERT – Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes! HI calls all actors to support and join the appeal of the UN Secretary General | March 25, 2020

Hospital damaged by bombing

In Syria, Yemen and many other places populations affected by conflicts live under the constant threat of bombing & shelling. They live in the fear of being killed, injured or losing their loved ones, unable to access basic services while vital civilian infrastructure have been reduced to rubbles and humanitarian access is not guaranteed. For […]

In Syria, Yemen and many other places populations affected by conflicts live under the constant threat of bombing & shelling. They live in the fear of being killed, injured or losing their loved ones, unable to access basic services while vital civilian infrastructure have been reduced to rubbles and humanitarian access is not guaranteed.

For them, COVID19 is now another threat from which they struggle to shelter, in contexts where hospitals have been destroyed, where there is a lack of medical personnel and humanitarian actors face constant barriers to access the population in need. Situations that reveals even more acutely a reality that we have been denouncing for years: the devastating impact that explosive weapons have on civilians when used in populated areas.

For those who have had to flee their home to escape the bombing, the internally displaced and the refugees, the situation is desperate. How do you wash your hands when you have no access to water? How do you confine yourself when you have no home?

This is why, as HI, we keep calling all States to take their responsibility: this crisis reminds us how civilians living in conflict are exposed to additional suffering. It is time to end civilian suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons by adopting a strong political declaration.

As the UN Secretary General says; it’s time to “silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes” (full appeal available here).

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas, especially those with wide area effects, has a devastating impact on civilians and their vital infrastructure. Beyond immediate deaths and injuries, civilians are often exposed to severe long-term effects, when hospitals, schools, electricity networks and water and sanitation systems are damaged or destroyed.

 


Picture: Hospital damaged by bombing and shelling – Syria, 2019 – © Bahia.Z / HI

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Posted in Alert, Disarmament, Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas, Humanitarian Access, Humanitarian Aid, Other crises, Syria, YemenTagged