SANA’A/AMMAN, 10 April 2015 – A first airlift of urgent medical and other supplies from UNICEF is being unloaded now on the tarmac at Sana’a International Airport, as the conflict in Yemen continues to exact a heavy toll on children and their families.
“The humanitarian situation is worsening all the time, with increasingly limited access to water, basic sanitation and critical health services,” said UNICEF Yemen Representative Julien Harneis speaking from the Jordanian capital, Amman. “The supplies we have managed to bring in today can make the difference between life and death for children and their families – but we know they are not enough, and we are planning more of these airlifts.”
The 16 tonnes of medical equipment and water supplies that have just landed will be made available to organizations working on the ground in Yemen to save innocent lives.
The cargo of antibiotics, bandages, syringes, IV sets and other medical supplies for up to 80,000 people, micronutrients for up to 20,000 children and water storage materials was airlifted through Djibouti from UNICEF’s Supply Centre in Denmark.
Thousands of families across the country have left their homes in search of safer places to stay and hospitals are under increasing pressure as they struggle to manage mass casualties with insufficient supplies. UNICEF has warned of increased risks of disease outbreaks as water and sanitation systems have broken down.
UNICEF teams on the ground in Yemen are working with partners, as security conditions permit, to provide families with essential services including immunization and safe water and supporting the broadcast of messages through national media to alert children and parents to the dangers of unexploded ordnance.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.ie
For further information, please contact: Clare Herbert, UNICEF Ireland Communications Manager, 01 878 3000, 087 9421281