Yemen

Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, 26 October 2020: Attack on a hospital in Taizz injures two health workers and terrifies patients [EN/AR]

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Sana’a, 26 October 2020 – An attack on the Al Amal Hospital for Cancer Treatment in Taizz Governorate on 24 October injured two health care workers and damaged the facility. Patients, most of them children, have been left in a state of panic.

“Any attack on any health center is unacceptable,” said Ms. Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “An attack on a cancer hospital, where desperately ill children are receiving life-saving treatment, is abhorrent.”

Health partners have documented 163 attacks on hospitals and other medical facilities across Yemen since the beginning of the war in 2015. Only half of all health facilities across the country are currently functioning, and the majority of those that are operating face shortages of medicines, supplies, equipment and staff.

“The health system was already overwhelmed before the COVID pandemic struck,” said Ms. Grande. “The system itself is now on life-support. Just when it’s needed the most, we’re no longer able to provide the same level of support we have in the past because we don’t have the funding we need.”

“A staggering 9 million Yemenis will almost certainly lose access to basic health services by the end of year if we don’t get more support,” said Ms. Grande.

“If we are forced to reduce or shut-down our health programmes, the impact will be immediate, unimaginable and possibly irreversible.”

Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 per cent of the population – over 24 million people - require some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. By mid-October, only US$1.43 billion of the US$3.2 billion needed in 2020 has been received.