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ICRC warns of Yemeni society’s slow death due to hunger

April 4, 2018 at 9:30 am

A Yemeni mother and her baby at a hospital in Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned on Tuesday that society in Yemen is succumbing to a slow death due to mass hunger and malnutrition.

“Government leaders gather in Geneva today for a pledging conference for Yemen [organised by the UN],” said the ICRC. “Three years after the start of the war, life for residents is indescribably miserable due to the way the conflict is being fought.”

The ICRC statement pointed out that the organisation has spent years pleading with warring parties to operate in such a way that civilians are not impacted so severely. It efforts, the statement added, have not been successful.

“The desperate needs of families would shrink, and so would disease, malnutrition and civilian deaths, if the mere basics of international humanitarian law were observed,” noted the ICRC’s Regional Director for the Near and Middle East, Robert Mardini.

Red Cross: 95% of Yemenis rely on tanks to get water

The organisation explained that it has been able to visit detainees on both sides after new agreements were reached. Although there is still much to be done, it said, this positive step shows that the parties to the conflict can find ways to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The Red Cross has sent specialised surgical teams to two hospitals on both sides of the frontline in the southern provinces of Aden and Saada in order to provide lifesaving healthcare for wounded and traumatised patients. Around 140,000 patients received treatment in the two facilities last year.