Mercy Corps: 72-hour Cease-Fire in Yemen Is not Enough

Yemen, October 20, 2016

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Humanitarian access urgently needed in harrowing crisis

Sana’a, Yemen – The global organization Mercy Corps welcomes the current 72-hour cease-fire announced by the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, but cautions that this brief period is not sufficient for humanitarian organizations to significantly expand operations in order to meet dire needs.

The current situation is too unsafe for aid workers and a permanent cessation of hostilities must be implemented quickly. An estimated 80 percent of Yemen’s population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. As security conditions permit, Mercy Corps will continue its existing operations to reach vulnerable Yemeni families -- including those displaced by the conflict -- with lifesaving food, water and sanitation services.

Mercy Corps urges all parties to the conflict to continue efforts to achieve a lasting, inclusive political solution, protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law. The organization also calls for a reopening of commercial airspace and unimpeded import and movement of essential commodities from sea ports throughout the country.

Yemen is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. More than 4,100 civilian deaths and 40,000 casualties have been reported in the country since March 2015. Yemen continues to experience ongoing crisis around food and safety; more than 19 million people lack access to safe water and 14 million people are facing hunger. Much of the country’s infrastructure, including health facilities, schools and transportation, has sustained significant damage.

Despite compromised access and limited ability to safely reach those in need, the humanitarian community remains determined. Mercy Corps has helped an estimated 1.2 million people in Yemen since the conflict began in 2014.

Mercy Corps has joined other INGOs operating in Yemen –Action Contre La Faim, CARE, Danish Refugee Council, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam and Save the Children –in signing a joint statement supporting the cease-fire.

To support Mercy Corps’ lifesaving work in Yemen and around the world, join us now.

PDF icon INGO Statement on Yemen Ceasefire - 19Oct2016.pdf PDF icon NR_Yemen Ceasefire - 20Oct2016.pdf