SANA’A/AMMAN, 14 April 2015 – A second aircraft loaded with UNICEF lifesaving supplies has arrived at Sana’a International Airport, bringing nearly 76 metric tonnes of antibiotics, bandages, syringes, IV sets and other materials.
A first consignment of medical supplies which arrived on Friday is currently being distributed in various parts of the country.
The arrival of a second supply flight is timely as the security situation worsens in Yemen with 18 out of 22 governorates now affected by the ongoing conflict. In the southern city of Aden, street fighting has intensified with the use of tanks and heavy weaponry while airstrikes continue in Sana’a and other governorates. Civilian infrastructure including schools, health facilities, communication towers and electricity stations have been damaged.
The food and fuel crisis is intensifying rapidly. Supply ships carrying wheat and fuel were recently refused entry at the Hodeidah port.
“With food and fuel supplies quickly drying up, the situation facing the civilian population is becoming ever more dire”, said UNICEF Yemen Representative Julien Harneis. “While deliveries of humanitarian supplies are welcome, they can never replace regular commercial shipments of food and fuel essential to health and water services on which millions of Yemenis depend.”
Amid the violence, UNICEF is working with partners to provide families with essential services including immunization and safe water. Supplies for maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition are being distributed to health facilities to ensure continuation of basic services. The agency is procuring fuel so that vaccines can be safely stored in health centres across the country.
In areas where health facilities are not functional or where population displacements are reported, mobile teams are being deployed to meet basic needs. UNICEF is also supporting water distribution to displaced communities and the repair of damaged water systems in the south of the country.