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Red Cross: Two-thirds of Yemenis deprived of basic healthcare in ‘unimaginable horror’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A mother carries her malnourished child at al-Sabeen Maternity and Child Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen, on March 2, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that the humanitarian situation in Yemen is one of “unimaginable horror,” saying two-thirds of the Yemeni people are deprived of basic healthcare due to the devastating Saudi-led war and siege against the impoverished country.

Basheer Omar made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Russia's RT news network on Saturday, calling on the international community not to leave the Yemeni people “alone facing their fate.” 

“It’s just unimaginable horror,” Omar told RT, adding, “We are doing our best to draw the attention of the international community to the plight of the Yemeni people. We’re saying that the world should not turn a blind eye to what is happening.”

In a report released earlier this week, the ICRC said around 66% of Yemen’s 30.5 million people lack access to basic healthcare, adding that those in need of medical attention often risk death to visit the 51% of healthcare facilities still operating in the impoverished country.

The report went on to say that the crisis has been most acutely felt by women and infants, noting that less than 50% of births in Yemen are attended by healthcare professionals, and one mother and six newborn babies die every two hours.

Of the estimated 4.2 million people displaced in Yemen since the outbreak of the war, 73% are women and children, it added.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its regional allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned what the UN calls the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis.”

The kingdom has also maintained a blockade on the war-torn country, where the population is in dire need of basic supplies such as food and medicine. Riyadh imposed the blockade in 2015, the same year that it launched the war on its southern neighbor.

In recent months, the war coalition has continued to cease Yemeni fuel tankers despite a UN-brokered ceasefire intended to end the war and blockade.

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