Yemen: ICRC alarmed by rising death toll
|Publisher||International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)|
|Publication Date||6 December 2011|
|Cite as||International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Yemen: ICRC alarmed by rising death toll, 6 December 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ee071522.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply alarmed by escalating violence in the Yemeni city of Taiz. At the same time, the security situation in the city is making it extremely difficult for medical personnel and facilities to treat people injured in the violence. The ICRC calls on the authorities, fighters and all others involved to respect human life and dignity and to allow first-aid and medical teams to treat and transport injured people in safety.
"There are worrying reports of injured people being unable to reach medical facilities, and of facilities being attacked and damaged," said Eric Marclay, the ICRC's head of delegation in Yemen. "The violence has had a serious impact on basic services in recent weeks, with life-saving medical services especially hard hit. The escalating violence on the streets of Taiz has left dozens dead or wounded." The ICRC reminds all those concerned that all possible measures must be taken to search for, collect and evacuate the wounded and sick
In some cases, Yemen Red Crescent volunteers and others transporting the injured have been prevented from saving lives or have been injured themselves. "Trying to save a life can cost you your own these days," commented Marclay. "Anyone who is injured must be able to receive life-saving medical care without delay. Access to health care infrastructure must not be arbitrarily denied or limited. It is essential that medical staff, vehicles and facilities be protected and respected," he added. Hospitals must not be attacked.
The ICRC has been helping medical facilities cope with casualties since unrest started in Yemen. For the last three days, a team of ICRC surgeons has been working hand in hand with local doctors in Taiz, carrying out life-saving surgery. In addition to supplementing local staff, the team has brought in enough medical supplies to treat several dozen casualties.