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One year since Stockholm Agreement, Hudaydah still most dangerous place in Yemen for civilians: Agencies

One year since Stockholm Agreement, Hudaydah still most dangerous place in Yemen for civilians: Agencies

December 11, 2019

A quarter of all civilian casualties across Yemen in 2019 were recorded in Hudaydah governorate. Despite a ceasefire in the port city being at the heart of last year’s Stockholm Agreement, Hudaydah has seen 799 civilian deaths and injuries since the Agreement was signed, the highest toll countrywide.

Families continue to flee for their lives with close to 390,000 Yemenis uprooted from their homes across the country so far in 2019. Half of all those displaced came from just three governorates – Hajjah, Hudaydah and Al Dhale’e.

Despite drops in the levels of violence compared to 2018, Hudaydah, Sa’ada, Taizz, Al Dhale, and Hajjah remain the most dangerous governorates for civilians in 2019.

As aid agencies working in Yemen, we are outraged that after almost five years, Yemenis continue to suffer from an incalculable humanitarian crisis fuelled by conflict. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence. Houses, farms, markets and health facilities are damaged and destroyed worsening an already dire humanitarian situation.

Yemen is the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. Ten million people face starvation and 7 million are malnourished. Fighting and restrictions put in place by the authorities, are hampering our organizations from reaching the communities in greatest need. Conflict also continues to block people’s access to markets and services, and inflicts damage on essential infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, and water systems.

Last month’s signing of the Riyadh Agreement as well as a general de-escalation in hostilities presents a real window of opportunity to end the war. If urgent action is not taken we could see another five years of conflict, leading to a greater catastrophe for civilians.

We call on all conflict parties, the UN Security Council and countries with influence, to work together and speed up implementation of the Stockholm Agreement. The recent announcement on opening Sana’a airport for medical flights is a positive sign, and if actioned it will help thousands of sick Yemeni’s access lifesaving medical care.

Now is the time to build confidence towards peace through the Agreement and beyond, by implementing revenue-sharing from Hudaydah port to pay salaries across the country and ending the politicised deadlock over fuel to resolve the crisis.

While we call for full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement, it should not be a pre-condition for peace in Yemen. A nationwide ceasefire must also be immediately put in place to secure long-overdue peace talks. What Yemen needs most is an end to the violence, through a political solution to the conflict that takes into account the needs of women, youth and all of civil society.

Canada, alongside the rest of the international community, must maintain its support for the Stockholm peace process by ensuring that the parties to the conflict respect their commitments and by making sure Yemeni women, youth and civil society are included in the talks.

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Latest casualty (deaths and injuries) and humanitarian figures: 
  • A total of 1,008 civilians were killed by armed violence so far this year, down from 2,049 for the whole of last year.
  • More civilians were killed or injured by ground fighting this year than in the 12 months before.
  • Over 2,100 incidents of armed violence impacted civilians since the Stockholm Agreement - no improvement on the 12 months prior.
  • Increased number of civilians were killed or injured by explosive ordnance, from 349 people impacted last year to 504 so far this year.
  • 327 incidents of armed violence directly impacted civilian houses in 2019, 60 per cent of the total incidents. Half the child and women casualties in 2019 resulted from incidents impacting houses.
  • Over 40 per cent of all incidents of armed violence impacting civilians occurred in Hudaydah Governorate. A quarter of all 3,086 country-wide civilian casualties took place in Hudaydah, followed by Taiz Governorate.
  • The overall number of civilian casualties dropped compared with 2019, largely owing to a significant reduction in airstrikes in Hudaydah, and a recent de-escalation of violence across the country.
  • Data and analysis on civilian casualties and impact on civilian infrastructure was conducted by ACAPS and CIMP. This is open source data and has not been separately verified by the INGOs that are signatories here.

 

Photos, videos and stories of displaced people:
  • Photos of people displaced from Hudaydah can be found here.
  • Stories about a displaced family can be found here.
  • Video of a displaced family can be found here.
Signed by:

Action contre la Faim
Adventist Relief and Development Agency
CARE International
Danish Refugee Council
Handicap International - Humanity and Inclusion
Islamic Relief
International Rescue Committee
Intersos
Medecins du Monde
Norwegian Refugee Council
Oxfam
Première Urgence Internationale.
Saferworld
Vision Hope International
ZOA

For media interviews, please contact:

Paula Baker
Oxfam Canada
Media Relations
(613) 240-3047

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