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Action Against Hunger suspends activities from its Sana'a office following damage by coalition airstrikes
London, 20 April 2015 // Action Against Hunger condemns today’s bombings in Sana’a, Yemen, which took place without warning, damaging several buildings including our office, where 15 staff were working.
Fortunately, no Action Against Hunger staff were injured during the Arab coalition airstrikes over Faj Attan mountains, but there are likely to have been civilian casualties as buildings within a several kilometre radius collapsed or suffered substantial damage.
We condemn in the strongest terms any attack on humanitarian structures and civilians. The bombings took place without prior warning, in direct violation of international humanitarian law. They were disproportionate and indiscriminate.
We don’t know the extent of the damage to our office in Sana’a yet, from where we coordinate the delivery of humanitarian aid for those in need. But this situation is particularly dangerous for humanitarian staff and we are now forced to temporarily suspend our Sana’a office activities.
This suspension will have a direct impact on the most vulnerable people in and around Sana’a, who are suffering from both the violence of the conflict and the blocking of vital humanitarian aid. Even if Saudi Arabia announced its intention to fully-fund the UN appeal for Yemen – US$ 274 million – the Arab coalition must do more to minimise airstrikes near civilian and humanitarian structures that deliver aid.
Action Against Hunger – an independent, neutral and impartial organisation – renews its urgent appeal to all parties to the conflict in Yemen to respect international humanitarian law. Military forces and armed groups are obliged to facilitate delivery of aid and ensure the safety and survival of civilians. They must also respect humanitarian workers and allow humanitarian access to populations in distress.
What we're doing in Yemen
With 100 staff members in Yemen, we continue our work to relieve the suffering of families affected by the violence. An emergency response to 600 displaced families was launched recently, which provided nutritional treatment to severely malnourished children, as well as health care, clean water, and emergency kits containing essential items.
We are planning food distribution for 1,500 displaced families. Nearly 2,000 children with severe acute malnutrition are being treated in our centres and we’re distributing 116 tons of humanitarian aid. A logistical hub is being established in Djibouti to direct equipment to Yemen, to try to prevent any disruption to our ongoing programmes there.
Action Against Hunger has been present in Yemen since 2012.