United Nations, April 9: United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, has expressed her outrage at the ‘terrible, senseless deaths’ of 11 civilians in an air attack on Sana’a Sunday, in which scores were also injured.
For more than four years, the country has been grappling with a brutal conflict between supporters of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Houthi opposition groups. The war has plunged the country in what the UN considers to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with four out of five Yemenis (24.1 million people) in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and protection.
Sunday’s attack took place in Shu’aub district, in Sana’a city, and preliminary reports indicate that as many as 11 civilians – including five students – were killed and dozens of other women, children and men were injured, the UN said.
“These are terrible, senseless deaths and injuries and we offer our deep condolences to the families of the victims,” Ms. Grande said in a statement. “Every effort must be made to understand the circumstances that led to this tragedy.”
“Protecting people and protecting civilian infrastructure are core principles of international humanitarian law,” she stressed. “Even as we are struggling to address the worst food security crisis in the world and one of the worst cholera outbreaks in modern history, these principles are being violated.”
“The people who are the most vulnerable and who need our help and compassion the most are the people paying the highest price for this terrible conflict” said Ms. Grande. “This is wrong, wrong, wrong.”
In 2018, humanitarian organizations reported an average of 45 incidents of armed violence each week. Thousands of civilians were killed last year, including close to 1,000 children.
The funding requirements for the 2019 humanitarian response in Yemen stand at US$4.2 billion to assist more than 20 million Yemenis including 10 million people who rely entirely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs every month. So far, only 6 per cent of the required funds have been received.