At least 22 Yemeni children and four women were killed in an air strike on Thursday as they were fleeing the fighting in Al Durayhimi district in Hudaydah governorate. This is the second time in two weeks that an air strike by the Saudi-led Coalition has resulted in dozens of civilian casualties. An additional air strike in Al Durayhimi on Thursday resulted in the death of four children.
I echo the recent statement by the Secretary-General on Yemen, condemning such attacks on civilians and calling for an impartial, independent and prompt investigation into these most recent incidents. I am also deeply concerned by the proximity of attacks to humanitarian sites, including health facilities and water and sanitation infrastructure. The UN and partners are doing all they can to reach people with assistance. Access for humanitarian aid workers to reach people in need is critical to respond to the massive humanitarian crisis in Yemen. People need to be able to voluntarily flee the fighting to access humanitarian assistance too.
The parties to the conflict must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and those with influence over them must ensure that everything possible is done to protect civilians. Yemen is the world's largest humanitarian operation. Three in four Yemenis are in need of assistance. In 2018, the UN and partners have reached more than 8 million people with direct assistance.
New York, 24 August 2018
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