CARE welcomes announcement of re-opening of Yemen’s Sana’a Airport for medical transportation
SANA’A, 27 November 2019 – After more than three years of closure, it has been announced that Sana’a International Airport is to be re-opened to allow sick patients to travel overseas for life-saving treatment. In August, CARE and NRC reported that up to 32,000 people may have died through not being able to travel overseas for medical care. Aaron Brent, CARE Yemen’s Country Director, says:
It has been three long years since Sana’a airport was closed. Now we have a very positive signal that parties to the conflict are taking the wellbeing of Yemen’s people seriously, and we hope they will follow through on this gesture of goodwill, which could ultimately pave the way for peace.
While opening the airport to medical patients will be a critical first step, the Saudi-led coalition must go one step further and open it up to commercial flights, which will bring in commercial and humanitarian goods and give Yemenis the freedom to travel overseas – something that in most countries is taken for granted. Aaron Brent says:
As the UN and international organisations have cautioned repeatedly, there is no military solution to the almost five-year conflict in Yemen. Only a truly inclusive political solution will lead to peace, and to the beginning of the end of suffering for millions of men, women and children who have seen their country decimated.
Yemen is in the fifth year of a conflict that has been relentless for the vast majority of the population, with 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including over 7 million women and girls who are in acute need. The economy has collapsed, 3.6 million people have been displaced, and millions are malnourished and at risk of famine.
CARE in Yemen
CARE reaches 1.5 million Yemenis every month, across 12 governorates of Yemen. We provide life-saving food, cash, water and sanitation services to those in need. As well as our emergency interventions, we work to ensure people have sustainable incomes and community structures like schools, wells and roads; we empower women and young people economically by developing their skills and enabling them to start their own businesses; and we work in reproductive health, ensuring safer childbirth through training midwives and rehabilitating maternity health facilities. CARE has worked in Yemen since 1992. You can find out more at the CARE Yemen website.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty and providing life-saving assistance in emergencies. CARE has more than seven decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing life-saving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters.
Notes to editors:
- 24.1 million people are in need of humanitarian and protection assistance, of whom 14.3 are in acute need, including over seven million women and girls.
- Over 3.6 million people have been displaced since the conflict began, with 383,000 displaced in 2019 so far – 83% of whom are women and children.
- Only 51% of health facilities are fully functional and approximately 20 million people are food insecure, with ten million at risk of famine.
- There are 1 million acutely malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls.
- There have been 100,000 deaths due to direct conflict since the war began, with 20,000 in 2019 so far.
- Over 230,000 people are estimated to have died since the war began, due to conflict, disease and malnutrition.
- 385,000 families (2.69m people) are estimated to be at risk of being affected by low temperatures between November and February, with an urgent need for shelter items like thermal blankets, warm clothes and heating materials as well as rehabilitation of shelters to ensure cold-proofing.
Alexandra Hilliard, Policy, Communications & Information Coordinator, based in Sana’a