Yemen: ICRC deeply concerned by the impact of fighting in Taiz

22 October 2015
Yemen: ICRC deeply concerned by the impact of fighting in Taiz
Taiz, Yeman. This once vibrant street is now devastated and overrun with snipers. Despite the danger, two men on a motorcycle drive through the area. CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/W. Al-Absi

Geneva / Sana'a – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned about the humanitarian impact of increasingly intense fighting in the city of Taiz, where there has been indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas and essential supplies are being blocked from entering the city.

"The situation in Taiz is particularly dire, even by the standards of the appalling conditions all over Yemen, with nearly half of the hospitals closed and streams of wounded people desperate for treatment. Hospitals have reported 22 dead and more than 140 wounded after yesterday's shelling and airstrikes," said the ICRC head of delegation in Yemen, Antoine Grand.

"We have been asking the parties concerned to authorize the delivery of urgent medicines to the Al-Thawra hospital for the last five weeks, to no avail so far. This shipment is critical to save lives," he said.

Following more than six months of escalating ground fighting, airstrikes and shelling, people in Taiz are also suffering from acute shortages of water, food, electricity, gas and fuel.

"We are deeply concerned not only by the restrictions imposed on movements of essential goods into Yemen, but also inside the country. Today, we have been able to distribute food and basic aid to some displaced people on the outskirts of Taiz, but it remains very difficult for essential goods to enter the city, leading to an extremely worrying humanitarian situation," Mr Grand said.

The ICRC calls on all parties to the conflict to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to lift the restriction of movement of essential goods into and within Yemen. Parties must provide humanitarian assistance, or allow and facilitate humanitarian organisations to deliver humanitarian aid impartially to the people most affected by conflict.

See latest ICRC photos from Taiz, Yemen.  WARNING: Some of these images could be distressing.

See also our special page: Explosive weapons in populated areas

For further information, please contact:
Rima Kamal, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 1 213844 or + 967 73 607 1967
Adnan Hizam, ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 73 372 1659
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 02 or +41 79 536 92 48