A joint statement of 59 non-governmental organizations called for a comprehensive and complete end to the Saudi regime’s war on Yemen and not only declaring a temporary ceasefire.
The joint statement of the organizations stated, “more than five years of severe war in Yemen have weakened millions of Yemenis, due to the famine and diseases it left in addition to its destruction of the health system in Yemen.”
“The imminent threat of coronavirus complicates the tragic humanitarian situation in Yemen, where 80% of the population needs humanitarian assistance – the majority of them children and women; two thirds of the population lacks access to clean water and adequate sanitation, and close to 20 million people lack access to medical services,” the statement said. While Yemen faces other diseases such as cholera and dengue fever, which had spread previously in the past years.
“These factors contribute to creating a dangerous environment conducive to the rapid spread of coronavirus, which will threaten the lives of countless civilians,” the statement added.
In light of this exceptional threat, the NGO statement cautiously welcomed the announcement of the Saudi regime of a temporary ceasefire in Yemen, calling on all parties to the war to stop fighting and implement a ceasefire on the ground without any delay, and release all detainees and forcibly disappeared and work with the envoy’s office Nations to revive comprehensive political negotiations involving all parties to end the conflict.
The statement stressed that the ceasefire alone will not prevent the spread of coronavirus in Yemen, and all parties to the war must lift restrictions and end interference in vital humanitarian operations, and facilitate the movement of humanitarian workers, humanitarian aid and commercial imports.
He also called for an end to the blockade and any measures or policies that limit, prevent, and access essential trade imports to Yemen, maintain a humanitarian response to serve the millions of Yemenis who need assistance to survive, and support the economic livelihoods of Yemenis.
The statement also urged the support of Yemeni civil society to enable it to pursue its role in responding to this crisis and the international community to intensify basic funding for the full range of humanitarian programs in Yemen.
The statement warned that, in light of this global pandemic, any suspension of basic aid in Yemen or the politicization of the arrival and financing of humanitarian aid would place the civilian population at increased risk.
The statement stressed that the initial ceasefire in Yemen is only a first step, while Yemenis need a permanent ceasefire agreement, and a comprehensive political settlement, that includes all parties, in order to end the current conflict, in addition to the arrival of humanitarian aid and commercial imports without any restrictions.
The NGOs’ statement concluded that all violations committed by all parties to the war in Yemen should be held accountable “who cannot wait any longer to end this conflict and the human destruction that has harmed civilians for more than five years.”
In the field, the Houthi group in Yemen accused the Saudi coalition of launching eight air strikes on the Hajjah and Al-Jawf governorates (north of the country), on Friday.
The Al-Masirah channel, affiliated with the Houthis, stated that Al-Adwan (Saudi-Emirati Alliance) aircraft launched six air strikes on the Haradh district of Hajjah, which is linked to land borders with Saudi Arabia.
The channel added that the same aviation launched two air strikes on the district of Khub and Al-Shaab, the largest directorates of Al-Jouf.
In the same context, the UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said that he briefed all parties about proposals on a ceasefire and economic and humanitarian measures to alleviate the suffering of the Yemenis, and urged them to accept them without delay to start a formal political process.
Griffiths also said the proposed agreements are balanced, and represent a realistic and comprehensive package for taking a historic step toward peace.
The international envoy said that recording the first infection in Yemen with the coronavirus makes the urgent need to stop the fighting.