Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw [EN/AR]

Amman, 7 May 2015

I am gravely concerned by reports coming out of Aden yesterday with accounts of scores of people, many of them civilians and including women and children, being killed and injured in hostilities. Civilians were reportedly targeted while they were trying to flee to safer areas, having been trapped in Aden with limited or no access to water, food and health care for weeks.

People in Aden have endured extreme hardship as a result of conflict over the last six weeks and must be able to move to safer areas to seek medical and other assistance. Violence towards civilians and aid workers, and attacks on hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, must stop immediately.

In the six weeks since the escalation of conflict in Yemen, more than 1,400 people have been killed and nearly 6,000 injured - many of them civilians - by airstrikes and fighting on the ground. I strongly urge all parties to the conflict to provide safe passage for civilians from areas of conflict and to observe their duty to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law.

I call on all parties to the conflict to provide rapid, safe and predictable access to all people in need in Yemen. As an immediate measure, I repeat my call for a humanitarian pause, to be observed by all parties, to allow civilians to escape conflict areas and access basic services, and to enable humanitarian agencies to provide life-saving assistance.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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