16 February 2016
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has delivered three tonnes of life-saving medical supplies into Taiz.
This is the first time since August that the Red Cross has been able to enter this badly damaged city.
Around 200,000 people in Taiz, which has seen heavy fighting in Yemen’s civil war, face a constant struggle for medical care, food and water.
Antoine Grand, head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, said the delivery of medical supplies in Taiz “is a breakthrough and we hope that today’s operation will be followed by many more to come.”
The delivery, including surgical items, intravenous fluids and anaesthetic supplies, will help treat hundreds of patients. Essential medicines and supplies for pregnant women were also delivered. All of these items are in high demand by the hospitals in Taiz that continue to receive a daily influx of wounded people.
A nationwide problem
In many cases, civilians who have survived the conflict in Taiz are dying because of the lack of the simplest medical interventions. Unfortunately, this is also the case in much of the country. Over half of Yemen’s people struggle to access any kind of healthcare at all.
Last year there were also 100 reported attacks on hospitals, clinics and ambulances. Since the fighting began, 700 healthcare facilities in Yemen have been forced to close because of insecurity and shortages of fuel, oxygen and medicines.
Civilians are still suffering
Michael van Koesveld, Yemen country manager at the British Red Cross, said: “International humanitarian law prohibits methods of warfare that target civilian populations. Yet since the conflict escalated in March last year, an average of 20 people are killed or injured every day.”
“Despite the threats, our colleagues in Yemen continue to brave checkpoints, gunfire and threat of kidnap to deliver supplies and provide basic health services to people. The British Red Cross supports them through our Yemen Crisis Appeal,” he added.