ICRC: Responding to growing needs amidst deteriorating security

National Yemen

ICRC delegates distribute bedding as part of their efforts to improve living conditions in a deportation centre in Sana’a. Hundreds of migrants are stranded at the centre, waiting to go home. © ICRC/Basheer Al Selwi,

As the security situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate, access to communities fleeing from armed conflict and in need of humanitarian assistance has become increasingly difficult. In this complex environment, the ICRC strives to strike a balance between security and responding to the needs of those affected.

“Secure and unconditional access to populations caught in the fighting in different areas of the county remains a big challenge, particularly in areas such Al Jawf and Maarib, Abyan, Shabwa and parts of Hadramaut,” said Cedric Schweizer, head of the ICRC delegation in Sana’a. “In the past few months, we have often had to rethink our ways of working so that we can operate safely in an increasingly insecure environment,” he added.

As a result, the ICRC in Yemen has recently closed its office in Amran.

“The ICRC will continue to respond to humanitarian needs in Amran governorate, as long and as much as the security situation allows us to do so,” explained Schweizer, “but it is important that all actors in the governorate, and across Yemen, understand and accept the ICRC’s role, as a purely humanitarian organization, in alleviating the suffering of those caught up in the sporadic fighting and violence, irrespective of their religious and political beliefs, or of their race or gender.” He added, “It is also important for all in Yemen to understand, that the ICRC emblem is used for protection and identification of our staff, and has no religious connotation whatsoever.”