Sana’a, 7 August 2020 – Initial field reports indicate that a large number of civilians, including children, were killed and injured during strikes on 6 August in the Haraad area in Khabb wa ash Sha'af District in Al Jawf Governorate, northern Yemen. The attack occurred as the victims were traveling by road.
Although the number of victims is still being confirmed, partners report that as many as 9 children were killed and 7 injured; 2 women are also reportedly injured. Some of the injured were taken to a WHO-supported hospital in Al Hazm while others were evacuated to Sana’a for treatment. Humanitarian partners are providing psychosocial and other support to the survivors.
“Like all senseless act of violence against civilians, this is shocking and completely, totally unacceptable,” said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “We extend our deep condolences to the bereaved and wish all of the injured a full and fast recovery,”
This is the third attack in less than a month to cause multiple civilian casualties. On 12 July, an air strike killed seven children and a woman in Hajjah Governorate in north-west Yemen; another two children were injured. On 15 July at least 11 civilians were killed in Al Jawf, including several women and children, and another five children and a woman were injured.
“We have to be absolutely clear about this. The primary responsibility of a party to a conflict is to do everything possible to protect civilians and ensure they have the assistance they need to survive,” said Ms. Grande. “This is a fundamental requirement under international humanitarian law.”
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.
At the High-Level Pledging Event in Riyadh held on 2 June, donors pledged only US$1.35 billion of the $2.41 billion needed to cover essential humanitarian activities until the year end, leaving a gap of more than $1 billion. Since mid-April, more than 30 percent of the UN’s major programmes have already been scaled back, or closed due to lack of funds.