Fighting in Yemen's Amran Governorate has left many families desperate to know what has happened to missing relatives. The ICRC is providing hospitals with vital supplies and has offered to trace missing persons.
The ICRC distributes food and other emergency supplies in Madaa to people who have fled the fighting in Amran.
CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Basheer Al Selwi
"Under international humanitarian law, families have the right to know what has happened to missing relatives," explained Farid Chrabieh, who coordinates the ICRC's protection activities in Yemen. "The military authorities and armed groups must all do they can to account for people who have gone missing, and they must give families all the information they have."
The ICRC will only ask for information about a missing individual in response to an enquiry from a member of their family. The organization can also request access to someone if they have been detained, to check that they are being treated in accordance with international standards.
"We treat all cases as confidential, and our work is strictly humanitarian," explained Chrabieh.
The ICRC is also working with the Ministry of Public Health and Population and the Yemen Red Crescent Society to facilitate the transfer of bodies from Amran to Sana’a and other governorates. To date, 71 bodies have been transferred from Amran General Hospital to hospitals in Sana’a at the request of families.
Since violence escalated in May, the ICRC has made frequent visits to Amran, where the organization has:
donated medical supplies, including a total of 18 dressing kits, to Al Qaren Health Unit, Raida Rural Hospital, Amran General Hospital, General Security first-aid posts, a first-aid facility in Al Hajaz, Al Thula rural hospital, Al Talh hospital, Ayal Yezid and health facilities in Shawaba;
provided 3 medical kits for the treatment of war-related injuries to Amran General Hospital and one such kit to Al Talh Hospital, with each kit containing enough medical and surgical supplies to treat between 50 and 100 casualties, depending on their condition;
donated 80 body bags to the YRCS and 70 to Amran General Hospital ;
donated 10 first-aid kits, 4 stretchers and 10 protective uniforms to the Yemen Red Crescent in Amran;
helped the Yemen Red Crescent to run 8 first-aid courses for groups involved in the fighting and supported the donation of 16 stretchers and 16 first-aid kits for the trainees through the Yemen Red Crescent in Amran;
facilitated contacts with the Ministry of Health to ensure that people could retrieve the bodies of their relatives and bury them properly;
distributed food, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, mattresses and hygiene items to 3,710 displaced persons in Hamdan, Madaa and Plus, covering their needs for one month;
installed water points and water tanks and provided 21 family tents in 9 schools in Thula district and Ayal Yezid, where some 700 people displaced from Amran have taken refuge.
The ICRC will also be delivering water to the people at the schools in Thula and Ayal Yezid. This will ensure a continuous supply of drinking water for these families, which consist mainly of women and children.
The ICRC has been in Yemen since 1962. The organization reiterates its calls to all involved in the fighting to show respect for the lives and physical safety of all. The wounded must receive the medical care they need and health facilities must be protected, not attacked.