Press Release

Children Already at Risk of Malnutrition in Yemen in Urgent Humanitarian Need amid Conflict

Update

April 20, 2015

The World Health Organization reports 767 deaths and 2,906 injuries since airstrikes began at the end of March in Yemen. The continued unrest has led to a significant humanitarian situation including a lack of water, fuel, electricity, and food. Health facilities throughout Yemen are forced to operate without power or water while functioning with limited staff and supplies. Displaced families are struggling for basic necessities and citizens in Aden are afraid to leave their homes for fear of bombings and snipers. The fuel shortages and increased insecurity are crippling transport options for basic, lifesaving commodities and the costs of delivering supplies is growing exponentially with the diminishing available resources.

International Medical Corps is continuing to respond to the humanitarian needs of Yemeni citizens. Our teams on the ground are delivering essential drugs and medical consumables to supported hospitals, including 11 tons of supplies from UNICEF. These supplies include primary healthcare drugs that will benefit half a million people and trauma kits that will support over 10,000 people in eight hospitals.

International Medical Corps has been conducting assessments of internally displaced persons in Taiz, Al Dhala, and Lahj. As a result of these assessments, International Medical Corps will be providing the affected population with hygiene kits and shelter items such as soap and blankets.

Furthermore, International Medical Corps is operating two ambulances in Sana’a City and will begin operation of a third in Aden promptly.

 

Update

April 14, 2015

The continued violence in Yemen is causing major security and humanitarian consequences. An internally displaced persons (IDPs) crisis is emerging. Reports show IDPs, including women and children, are living in caves or out in the open. In addition, the shortage of fuel, destruction of pipelines, and lack of access to water has propelled a water shortage in an already water scarce nation. In Aden, water shortage is so severe in some cases that people are resorting to water collection from unprotected and abandoned wells, to pools of water in valleys. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged for an immediate political resolution and said there are countless civilians in Yemen who are being “willfully abandoned to misery”.

International Medical Corps is currently supporting 78 health facilities in Yemen, including 10 mobile medical units. Many of these facilities are reporting an increase in the number of injuries from air strikes, shelling, and ground fighting. We are distributing trauma kits, drugs, medical consumables, and food supplements to these facilities.

In addition, International Medical Corps is planning to send weekly water trucks to health facilities with the highest amount of new cases. Our teams on the ground are also arranging to distribute 3,000 hygiene kits to conflict-affected families and IDPs. Hygiene kits include essential water, hygiene and sanitation items such as buckets and soap. International Medical Corps-trained volunteers will teach basic hygiene principles and practices with the distribution.

Our mobile medical units in Lahj and Taiz provide 40-80 consultations per day, and conduct management of acute malnutrition and other services for conflict-related injuries.

So far, International Medical Corp’s initial distributions of medical consumables and drugs will support:

• 100 people with severe bleeding from trauma or in childbirth
• 250 people that require anesthetics
• 640 people with injuries that require dressings
• 400 people with fractured bones that require plasters
• 2000 people with wounds sutured or undergoing surgical procedures
• 400 people exposed to tetanus through injuries or burns

Children Already at Risk of Malnutrition in Yemen in Urgent Humanitarian Need amid Conflict

International Medical Corps Responding

April 10, 2015 – LOS ANGELES/LONDON – As the violence in Yemen continues, hundreds of thousands of children, already malnourished prior to the start of the recent conflict, are in dire need of humanitarian relief to stay alive. Health facilities are struggling to meet the needs of those affected by the conflict, especially children. Food, nutrition supplies, medicines, water, fuel and electricity are reported to be in extremely short supply. Maintaining these resources is critical to keeping malnourished children and those in vulnerable communities alive. In response, International Medical Corps’ team in Yemen is providing lifesaving medical and nutrition services through mobile medical teams and delivering vital medications and supplies to health facilities.

“Much of the country last year was already at crisis levels for malnutrition, with some of the highest rates in the world. The recent violence is only exacerbating this situation, leaving many children at immediate risk of dying,” said Chris Skopec, Senior Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response, International Medical Corps. “Getting medical and nutrition supplies in country and distributed to the areas most at risk is a top priority. But with the severe fuel shortages and continued violence, the window of opportunity to assist is rapidly closing. The international community must act now.”

More than 10 million Yemenis are in need of food and specialized nutrition assistance, including 850,000 acutely malnourished children, of whom 160,000 are severely acutely malnourished according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. International Medical Corps is distributing existing stockpiles of medical and nutrition supplies to meet basic nutritional needs, and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to vulnerable communities. In addition, the organization is continuing to operate mobile medical teams where possible to provide health and nutrition consultations. As there are anticipated nationwide shortages of specialized foods such as Ready to Use Therapeutic foods which are critical in treating malnutrition, International Medical Corps is working with international partners to source additional supplies.

International Medical Corps’ work in the Middle East region began in 2003 following the start of the Iraq war. Today the organization’s humanitarian programs span Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Turkey and Yemen. International Medical Corps has worked in Yemen since 2012, delivering robust humanitarian programs in the areas of primary health care, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, and water, sanitation and hygiene.