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Yemen turning into another forgotten conflict, ICRC warns

15 January 2016 13:20


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned about the dire situation of Yemeni patients and numerous attacks on hospitals there, saying the world should not forget the crisis. 

Robert Mardini, who heads the ICRC’s operations for the Near and Middle East, said the situation in Yemen is turning into one of the world’s “forgotten conflicts” some nine months into the Saudi military campaign against its impoverished neighbor.

The ICRC’s outgoing health coordinator in Yemen, Monica Arpagaus, also said last week that hospitals in Yemen are no longer safe.

“We have incidents where hospitals have been targeted and patients have been injured and staffs have been killed,” said the official.

“Drugs, medication and medical supplies have been prevented from crossing frontlines into hospitals which desperately need these supplies.”

Saudi military has started a military campaign against Yemen since March 2015. Riyadh’s airstrikes have taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories.

The Saudi military has also blocked the flow of relief aid into Yemen, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state.

More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since last March.

Riyadh’s warplanes have not even spared the hospitals run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Yemen. In the latest of such air raids, Saudi warplanes targeted an MSF health facility in Sa’ada Province on January, killing four people and wounding several others.

The MSF slammed the raid as part of a “worrying pattern” of attacks on medical facilities.

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