A mother and six newborns die every two hours in ongoing conflict and deprivation, the agency has warned
Basheer Omar, head of the Red Cross, told RT on Saturday that the humanitarian situation in Yemen was one of the “unimaginable horror” with two-thirds of the population deprived of basic health care. Omar called on the international community not to abandon the Yemeni people “alone facing his destiny”.
As Yemen’s armed conflict enters its eighth year, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a report this week indicating that around 66 per cent of Yemen’s 30.5 million people have no no access to basic health care and that those who often need medical care risk death to visit the 51% of health facilities still in operation in the country.
The crisis has been felt hardest by women and infants. Less than 50% of births in Yemen are attended by health professionals, and one mother and six newborns die every two hours, the report says. Of the approximately 4.2 million people displaced in Yemen since the outbreak of civil war in 2014, 73% are women and children.
“It’s just unimaginable horror” Omar told RT. “We are doing our best to draw the attention of the international community to the plight of the Yemeni people. We say that the world should not close its eyes to what is happening.
“The Yemeni people must not be left alone to face their destiny,” Omar, who wrote the ICRC report, continued.
The civil war in Yemen pits government forces against Houthi rebels. The government is aided by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, while Iran backs the Houthis but has repeatedly denied arming the group. Western governments, including the US, UK and France, have backed the Saudi coalition with arms, training and intelligence.
The conflict has been described by the UN as the “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world” and resulted in the deaths of 377,000 people, more than two-thirds of whom are under the age of five, according to UN figures as of the end of 2021.
The Yemeni conflict is currently in a fragile truce, which was declared in April and extended last month until August.