By Noora Jussila, IFRC
Despite the deteriorating situation, the Yemen Red Crescent Society continues to deliver first aid and health services in the conflict-torn country. The Red Crescent has stepped up its efforts in organizing first aid training for both Red Crescent volunteers and members of local communities.
In January, four new ambulances have been put into service by Yemen Red Crescent Society, and will be used by emergency response teams in Amran, Hadramaout, Shabwa and Taiz branches. Yemen Red Crescent Society had also previously received six new ambulances in February 2016.
“The Yemen Red Crescent Society plays a crucial role in providing auxiliary ambulance services in the middle of the conflict. With these ambulances, we will be able to scale up our emergency medical services and to alleviate the suffering of many vulnerable people, especially civilians who have been injured in the ongoing armed conflict,” said Mr Fouad Mohammed Al-Makthy, the Secretary General of the Yemen Red Crescent Society.
Mr Al-Makthy also reiterated the importance of training staff and volunteers to operate new ambulances, as well as expanding the number of first aid training sessions provided to local communities. Yemen Red Crescent Society has some 3,000 active volunteers and runs 12 health facilities across the country, 8 of which are supported by the IFRC.
The need for health services, food and clean water in Yemen is huge, as people are struggling to attend to even their most basic needs. In many parts of the country, electricity and water have been cut off for more than a year now and in addition, constant fuel shortages have disrupted health facilities. The economy has collapsed leaving many people without any income.
The decade-long armed conflict worsened in March 2015, forcing over 3 million Yemenis to flee their homes. Over 10,000 people have been killed and 40,000 wounded in the past two years of the conflict. Nearly 80 per cent of Yemen’s population is in need of emergency aid including 10 million that are in need of urgent help.
“Yemenis are in a desperate need of help. Children are dying because they don’t have enough food and clean water. The international community needs to act now and secure sufficient funding for aid operations in Yemen,” said Pitambar Aryal, head of the IFRC’s Yemen country office.
Besides health services, Yemen Red Crescent Society provides necessities such as food, clean water, mattresses and blankets, tents, hygiene kits and first aid training to those in greatest need, with the support of partners from across the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Yemen Red Crescent Society is supported by the IFRC, ICRC, British, Danish, German, Norwegian and Swedish Red Cross societies, Saudi Red Crescent Authority, and the British and Swedish governments.
In 2017, the IFRC is supporting Yemen Red Crescent Society in providing assistance to 190,000 people. In total, the Yemen Red Crescent Society is aiming to assist 1.5 million Yemenis in 2017.
New ambulances are operating in Amran, Hadramaout, Shabwa and Taiz branches:
“The Yemen Red Crescent Society plays a crucial role in providing ambulance services in the middle of the conflict. With these ambulances, we will be able to scale up our emergency medical services and to alleviate the suffering of many vulnerable people.”Mr. Fouad Mohammed Al-Makthy