Joint statement: Yemen: urgent measures needed to protect civilians from COVID-19
The conflict in Yemen is entering its sixth year, resulting in what is considered the worst man-made humanitarian crisis in the world. On 10 April, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country.*
Since September 2014 and the escalations of March 2015, the Yemeni government, Ansar Allah (Houthi) armed group, the Saudi/United Arab Emirates-led coalition and its affiliated proxy forces have persistently committed serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights abuses.
While the authorities in various parts of Yemen have a responsibility to take preventive measures and other steps to protect people in areas under their control from the spread of COVID-19, any response must respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The warring parties, donor states, the United Nations and the European Union must take immediate and urgent steps to mitigate COVID-19’s potential outbreak and catastrophic impact in Yemen.
* On the 29th of April, five further cases were recorded in Aden by Yemen’s supreme national emergency committee for coronavirus.