A week of heavy airstrikes across much of Yemen, where more than 60 percent of the population are already reliant on aid, will result in food and fuel shortages and hasten Yemen’s descent into a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Oxfam is calling on all parties to the conflict to bring an immediate end to the violence and seek a political solution. International humanitarian and human rights laws must be obeyed at all times, including taking all steps to avoid civilian casualties and ensuring access for humanitarian aid to reach those in need.
Grace Ommer, Oxfam’s country director in Yemen, said: “It is heartbreaking to watch conflict escalate in a country that is already grappling with a humanitarian crisis. Yemen's economy is on the brink of collapse. It is vital that supplies of food and fuel coming into Yemen are maintained to help those struggling to get clean water and enough to eat. International donors should increase their support at this critical time. Failure to do so will result in a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding throughout the country.
“The international community cannot watch Yemen disintegrate. We cannot watch ordinary people pay the price of conflict. Civilian casualties and the horrific bombing of a camp for people who have already fled their homes are absolutely terrible. Fighting should be brought to an end as quickly as possible.”
Oxfam is working to ensure that it continues to provide critical lifesaving programmatic activities to help those caught up in the crisis.
Notes to editors
- For figures on the humanitarian situation in Yemen see OCHA: http://www.humanitarianresponse.info/system/files/documents/files/OCHA%20Humanitarian%20Bulletin_December%202014.pdf
- Oxfam has reached 600,000 beneficiaries since 2011, providing both short and long term aid to help people get back on their feet. Oxfam is working with 32 communities to help rebuild their livelihoods through cash for work schemes and scaling up social protection programs. Oxfam responded to the 2014 fuel crisis with the distribution of water filters to 3,300 vulnerable households and a cash transfer to an additional 1,000 households in western Yemen. Since 2012 Oxfam has rehabilitated water systems in 41 rural communities in western Yemen, providing more than 125,000 vulnerable people with safe drinking water. In the north in Sa’ada governorate, where years of conflict have destroyed infrastructure and created significant access constraints, Oxfam is working on repairing and installing water sources, and has reached 58,000 people. We have also delivered vital water and sanitation services to communities in Aden and Abyan in the south. Furthermore, together with partners, Oxfam is working to empower women economically, socially, and politically to have a say in decision making at all levels.