UNHCR urges protection of Yemeni civilians
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Nearly 1,500 civilian casualties were reported in Yemen in the period between August to October this year, according to the UNHCR-led Protection Cluster in Yemen. This means an average of 123 civilian deaths and injuries every week during this period.
Each new day of the conflict inflicts more suffering on an already battered and exhausted civilian population. Given the heavy human cost, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, urges parties to the conflict in Yemen to improve the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.
According to data published in the latest Civilian Impact Monitoring Report (CIMP), an estimated 670 incidents of armed violence resulted in 1,478 civilian casualties during a three month period. Of this total, thirty-three per cent were women and children, of which 217 were killed and 268 injured.
Homes and hospitals also continue to be sites of violence. Twenty three per cent of all deaths and injuries (336 civilian casualties) during this period were reported in houses. Attacks on health infrastructure and first responders also resulted in 154 civilian casualties, while attacks on buses and vehicles resulted in 316 casualties.
The casualty totals during this period were driven both by the intensification of hostilities across active frontlines in Yemen and mass casualty incidents.
Sa’ada and Al Hudaydah governorates, which remain flashpoints of conflict in Yemen, accounted for the largest number of casualties within this period, while 26 mass casualty incidents, in which ten or more civilians were killed or injured, accounted for more than half of all overall casualties.
Almost four years of conflict in Yemen have resulted in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, leaving 75 per cent of the population, 22 million people, in need of assistance and displacing more than 2.3 million people from their homes.
According to the UN, more than 65,000 Yemenis are estimated to have been killed or injured in the conflict.
UNHCR is responding to the needs of displaced Yemenis with emergency cash assistance and other forms of aid. Since the beginning of the year UNHCR has provided almost 250,000 displaced and conflict affected Yemenis with cash assistance.
UNHCR reiterates however that only a peaceful resolution of the conflict can halt further suffering and stem humanitarian needs.
A link to the CIMP report is available here: https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/civilian-impact-monitoring-report-august-october-2018
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