Five years of conflict in Yemen
Since the beginning of the conflict ravaging Yemen, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has condemned the massive use of explosive weapons (especially mines, which have been banned since 1999) and calls on all parties concerned to remove unreasonable administrative barriers!
Hala, 4, was injured in an air raid while playing with her cousin | (C) ISNA Agency / HI
"These five years of armed conflict have created a complex crisis with devastating effects. Armed violence has destroyed the country's economic circuits, making Yemen the country in the world most affected by the humanitarian emergency: 80% of the population depends on humanitarian aid. NGOs are faced with major administrative and security constraints, which considerably reduce their field of action. It is essential to ensure that affected populations have rapid and secure access to basic services," explains Thomas Hugonnier, Director of Operations for Handicap International (HI) in the Middle East.
Our presence in Yemen at the service of the most vulnerable
HI has contributed to the establishment of emergency rehabilitation services to meet the specific needs of war-wounded. Bombing victims suffer from complex injuries (open wounds, fractures, burns, loss of muscle mass, nervous system injuries, etc.) that can lead to severe disabilities.
HI is present in six health centres in the governorates of Sana`a, Amanat al-Asima and Aden and receives patients from all over the country. 25'000 people have been treated, most of them victims of the conflict, since the beginning of its intervention in 2015. More than 3,000 of them are victims of explosive weapons.
The organisation has provided more than 27,000 crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, etc. Nearly 23,000 people received psychological support. HI has also equipped 300 people with prostheses and orthoses, in collaboration with the Sana'a Rehabilitation and Fitting Centre. More than 700 Yemeni health workers in Sana'a and other governorates were sensitized and trained in early trauma care.
Explosive weapons, a deadly danger to the population
Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) reports that nearly 16,300 people have been killed or injured by explosive weapons between 2015 and 2018. Nearly 80% of them were civilians.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA, 2019) reports the massive use of mines in 19 of the country's 22 governorates (weapons banned since the entry into force of the Ottawa Treaty in 1999).
According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), nearly 600 civilian infrastructures were destroyed or damaged each month in 2018. In Yemen, 50% of medical facilities are no longer functioning, while 19.7 million people are in need of health care and 17.8 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation.
A strong Canadian commitment to stop urban bombing
Yemen is a tragic example of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. HI and members of the International Network of Explosive Weapons (INEW) are engaging with states to convince them to support a strong political declaration to end the use of wide-range explosive weapons in populated areas and to provide assistance to victims of these weapons.
Several rounds of negotiations began in October 2019, with the participation of Canada. This diplomatic process will conclude with a conference scheduled for May 26 in Dublin where a political declaration will be opened for adoption.