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Source: Save The Children

GENEVA/LONDON, 7 July 2024 – Three International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are calling again for the immediate and unconditional release of personnel the majority of whom were detained one month ago by authorities in northern Yemen.

CARE International, Oxfam, Save the Children reiterated their concerns about the detention of about 18 members of UN entities and INGOs and many others associated with civil society organisations, national and international NGOs, and other organisations supporting humanitarian activities. 

The whereabouts of the detained staff remain unknown and their organisations have not been able to speak to them.  Some of those detained have pre-existing medical conditions. 

These detentions are unprecedented – not only in Yemen but globally – and directly impede the organisations’ ability to reach 18.2 million people in Yemen who need humanitarian aid and protection which is about half the population and includes 14 million women and children. All the detained staff were working as part of the agencies’ life-saving responses to the country’s humanitarian crisis.

The three INGOs said in a joint statement:

“We again ask the authorities to confirm the whereabouts of our staff, their wellbeing, and to give us immediate access to them. They have been held now for a month.

“International Humanitarian Law requires all parties to armed conflict to respect and protect humanitarian personnel, including against harassment, mistreatment, and unlawful arrest or detention. 

“To get help to millions of Yemenis who are in dire need of assistance, our staff need to be able to carry out their duties safely and without fear of arbitrary arrest, intimidation or violence. 

“Humanitarian organisations and aid workers dedicate their efforts to support the people of Yemen and do so by abiding with humanitarian principles.  The targeting of humanitarian, human rights, and development workers in Yemen must stop. All those detained must be immediately released.” 

CARE International has been present in Yemen since 1992 and operates across 14 governorates, reaching approximately 2.8 million people a year with food security and livelihoods, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), reproductive health, women’s economic empowerment, and education programmes.

Oxfam has been working in Yemen for more than 40 years and maintains an impartial approach to ensure delivery of humanitarian assistance to those most in need including in hard-to-reach areas of the country. Since July 2015, Oxfam has helped more than three million people in nine governorates of Yemen with clean water and sanitation, cash assistance and food vouchers.

Save the Children, an independent and impartial child rights organisation,  has been working Yemen since 1963 and is currently active in 11 governorates, focusing on food security, health, nutrition, child protection, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives. Last year Save the Children reached about 2.3. million people in Yemen.

 

ENDS

 

For Media Inquiries please contact:

David Moore, Humanitarian Communications Coordinator, CARE International – Email: dmoore@careinternational.org

Belinda Goldsmith, Director of Global Media Unit, Save the Children International: belinda.goldsmith@savethechildren.org

Jon Slater, Head of Media, Oxfam GB – Email: JSlater@oxfam.org.uk

MIL OSI