Author Archives: Mohammed Al-Zuhairi

Fighting the world’s largest cholera outbreak: oral cholera vaccination campaign begins in Yemen

WHO – Aden, 10 May 2018

The first-ever oral cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen was launched on 6 May and concludes on 15 May, just before the start of Ramadan. The campaign aims to prevent the resurgence of the world’s largest cholera outbreak. The volatile mix of conflict, a deteriorating economic situation, and little or no access to clean drinking-water and sanitation have resulted in more than one million suspected cholera cases since the outbreak began in April 2017.

A race against time

This campaign is part of a broader cholera integrated response plan, implemented by national health authorities, WHO and UNICEF. Outbreak response activities include surveillance and case detection, community engagement and awareness, enhancing laboratory testing capacity, improving water and sanitation, and training and deploying rapid response teams to affected areas.

This epidemic has affected the entire country, and the implementation of this oral cholera vaccination campaign, as part of the entire response to cholera, marks a milestone in the combined efforts of WHO and UNICEF, in partnership with the World Bank and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, through the generous support of our donors. “The ongoing conflict, lack of access to safe drinking-water, weak sewage systems due to lack of fuel for pumps and the collapsing health system is the perfect mix for a new explosion of cholera during Yemen’s rainy season, which is already in its beginning stages,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen.

“Hot” districts prioritized to prevent spread

On 24 April, UNICEF delivered the first batch of 455 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine from the Gavi-funded global stockpile, targeting people over the age of 1 year, including pregnant women. The Global Task Force for Cholera Control approved the request of more than 4.6 million doses of the vaccine from the global stockpile to target cholera hotspots across the country.

“This vaccination campaign comes at such a critical time. Children in Yemen were the worst hit by last year’s outbreak and remain the most vulnerable due to widespread malnutrition and deteriorating sanitation and hygiene,” said Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

Recent reports revealed that in the first 3 days of the campaign, more than 124 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine were administered. This represents 35% of the estimated target population in the 4 districts where the campaign began. A fifth district, will be included in the coming days, bringing the total target population to 470 905 individuals. The campaign currently involves 11 fixed teams and 328 mobile teams.

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For more information please contact:

Bismarck Swangin
UNICEF Yemen
Email bswangin@unicef.org
Phone 00967 712 223 161

Christine Tiffany Cool
WHO Yemen
Email coolc@who.int
Phone 00967 739 888 959

Sadeq Al-Wesabi
WHO Yemen
Email hasansa@who.int
Phone 00967 733 096 603

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Yemen

New York, 9 May 2018

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the recent and sharp escalation in the Yemen conflict, namely the Coalition airstrikes on 7 May that hit a Government building in the Tahrir district, a densely-populated area of Sana’a City, and the firing of ballistic missiles by the Houthis on 6 and 9 May toward different targets in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh. 

 

The Secretary-General reminds all parties to the conflict that they must uphold international humanitarian law, including taking steps to protect civilians. All potential violations of international humanitarian law should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible for violations must be held accountable.

 

The Secretary-General appeals to the parties to refrain from further escalation as this adversely impacts the chances for peace. He reminds the parties that a negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only way to end the conflict and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

 

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Yemen

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the airstrikes on a wedding party in Hajjah and on civilian vehicles in Taizz, where at least 50 civilians, including children, were reportedly killed and scores of others injured.

The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed. 

The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law concerning the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure during armed conflicts. He calls for a prompt, effective and transparent investigation.  

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 23 April 2018

الأمين العام يدين مقتل عامل إغاثة دولي باليمن

تعز، اليمن

22/4/2018

أدان الأمين العام أنطونيو غوتيريش مقتل عامل إغاثة تابع للجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر إثر هجوم نفذه مجهولون مسلحون، يوم أمس السبت، على سيارة تابعة للجنة الدولية في ضواحي تعز.

 

وفي بيان منسوب إلى المتحدث باسمه أعرب الأمين العام عن خالص تعازيه لأسرة الفقيد وأصدقائه وزملائه، كما أعرب عن تضامنه مع رئيس وموظفي اللجنة الدولية. 

وأكد غوتيريش ضرورة إلقاء القبض على المسؤولين عن هذا العمل ومحاكمتهم.

 كما شدد الأمين العام على أنه يتوجب على جميع أطراف النزاع حماية عمال الإغاثة الذين يقدمون المساعدات الإنسانية لأكثر من 22 مليون يمني بحاجة إلى تلك المساعدات.

UN chief condemns fatal shooting of International Red Cross staffer in Yemen

Much of Taiz, Yemen, has been destroyed by two years of fierce fighting.

The UN Secretary-General has condemned Sunday’s killing of a senior staff member working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen, who was attacked while travelling in a vehicle on the outskirts of Taiz.

22 April 2018

In a statement, the ICRC identified the victim as Lebanese national, Hanna Lahoud, who was in charge of the organization’s detention programme in Yemen.

“Mr. Lahoud was rushed to hospital where he died as a result of his injuries. The colleagues he was travelling with were unharmed in the incident,” said ICRC.

The UN chief said in a statement released through his Spokesperson, that those responsible for the attack must be “apprehended and prosecuted”.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the aid worker killed and expresses his solidarity with the President and staff of the ICRC,” added the statement.

Mr. Guterres also emphasized the need for all parties to Yemen’s bloody conflict – which has left 22 million in need of aid – to protect humanitarians providing lifesaving assistance.

ICRC’s Middle East Director, Robert Mardini, said: “We are all in shock. Hanna was a young man, full of life and was widely known and liked. Noting can justify Hanna’s murder and we are in deep mourning for our friend and colleague.”

Mr. Lahoud had worked for the ICRC – an independent global humanitarian organization that offers protection and support to all victims of violence – since 2010, in different field positions and at its headquarters in Geneva.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the killing of an ICRC aid worker in Taizz, Yemen

New York, 22 April 2018

The Secretary-General condemns the killing of an aid worker from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday in Yemen’s Taizz Governorate. The aid worker died following an attack by unknown armed assaillants on an ICRC vehicle on the outskirts of Taizz.

The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the aid worker killed and expresses his solidarity with the President and staff of the ICRC. Those responsible for this killing must be apprehended and prosecuted.

The Secretary-General emphasizes that all parties to the conflict must protect aid workers who provide humanitarian assistance to the more than 22 million Yemeni people in need.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

 

برنامج رهام الفرا للزمالة الصحفية يستقبل طلبات الصحفيين الشباب للعام 2018

المنامة، 18 نيسان/أبريل 2018 (مركز الأمم المتحدة للإعلام لبلدان الخليج)

دعا برنامج رهام الفرا للزمالة الصحفية الصحفيين المتفرغين الشباب من الفئة العمرية 22 وحتى 35 عاماً والعاملين في مجال الإعلام المرئي والمسموع والمكتوب والإلكتروني إلى المشاركة في فعاليات البرنامج في دورته التي ستعقد في شهر أيلول/سبتمبر 2018 .

يوفر البرنامج فرصة لمجموعة مختارة من الصحفيين الشبان من البلدان النامية والبلدان التي تمر اقتصاداتها بمرحلة انتقالية للحضور إلى مقر الأمم المتحدة لتغطية أعمال الجمعية العامة ولقاء كبار المسؤولين وحضور جلسات إحاطة وورش عمل خاصة. ويتيح البرنامج أيضاً فرصة للقاء صحفيين من البلدان الأخرى وتبادل الأفكار مع كادر متخصص في مجال الاتصالات لدى الأمم المتحدة.

يبدأ برنامج الزمالة هذا العام في 16 أيلول/سبتمبر في نيويورك وتختتم فعالياته في 7 تشرين أول/أكتوبر 2018.

ويتكفل برنامج رهام الفرا للزمالة الصحفية الصحفيين تكاليف السفر من البلد الأصلي إلى نيويورك والعودة، كما يغطي نفقات الإقامة والوجبات الغذائية والمواصلات وأي نفقات اخرى متعلقة بالمشاركة.

وسيرافق المشاركين في البرنامج المسؤولون الإعلاميون في الأمم المتحدة وسيشاركون في عدد من الأنشطة العملية وورش العمل، وسيُطلب من المشاركين إنجاز المهام بطريقة مهنية وإعداد ملف للمواد الإخبارية. كما سيزور المشاركون كبرى المؤسسات الإعلامية والمنظمات غير الحكومية ذات الصلة في نيويورك وجنيف للاطلاع على أعمالها. وسيمنح المشاركون عند إنهائهم متطلبات البرنامج، شهادة مشاركة فيه.

على الصحفيين الراغبين في المشاركة تقديم طلباتهم على الرابط التالي قبل 7 أيار/مايو 2018 على الرابط التالي:

https://outreach.un.org/raf/content/reham-al-farra-memorial-journalism-fellowship-2018-application.

ولمعرفة قائمة الدول التي يمكن لصحفيين منها المشاركة في دورة هذا العام زيارة الموقع:

https://outreach.un.org/raf/eligibility.

تأسس البرنامج عام 1980 من قبل الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة و أعيدت تسميته في أيلول/سبتمبر 2003 ليصبح اسمه “برنامج رهام الفرا السنوي للزمالة الصحفية” تكريماً للآنسة رهام الفرا، وهي من أعضاء أسرة الأمم المتحدة الذين قضوا في تفجير استهدف مقر الأمم المتحدة في بغداد.

المبعوث الدولي الجديد لليمن: التسوية السياسية المتفاوض عليها هي السبيل الوحيد لإنهاء الصراع

17/4/2018 

قال مارتن غريفيثس المبعوث الدولي الجديد لليمن إنه سيقدم إلى مجلسالأمن الدولي خلال الشهرين المقبلين إطار عمل للمفاوضات، مؤكدا أن حل الصراع لن يتحقق إلا باتفاق القادة اليمنيين على وضع خلافاتهم جانبا والتعامل معها عبر الحوار والنقاش لا المعارك.

غريفيثس، الذي تولى منصبه في الحادي عشر من مارس/آذار، قدم لمجلس الأمن اليوم الثلاثاء أول إحاطة له.

“الحل السياسي لوضع حد للحرب متاح. معالم هذا الحل ليست سرا وتتمثل في إنهاء القتال، وسحب القوات وتسليم الأسلحة الثقيلة في المواقع الرئيسية مع اتفاق حول تشكيل حكومة جامعة، تضم الأطراف معا في توافق لبناء السلام. هذا أمر يمكن تحقيقه. كل من تحدثت معهم من مختلف الأطياف اليمنية، قالوا لي إنهم يريدون ذلك وبسرعة، وإنهم سيعملون مع الأمم المتحدة لتحقيق ذلك.”

وتحدث غريفيثس أمام المجلس عن لقاءاته ومحادثاته مع الأطراف اليمنية، وأشار إلى أنه لم يزر الجنوب بعد إلا أنه اجتمع مع مجموعات من جنوب اليمن.

وقال المبعوث الدولي إن السلام في اليمن لن يتحقق بدون الاستماع إلى أصوات اليمنيين في الجنوب، وضمان شمولهم في التدابير السياسية لإنهاء الحرب.

وأضاف غريفيثس أن التسوية السياسية المتفاوض عليها، عبر الحوار الجامع، هي السبيل الوحيد لإنهاء الصراع في اليمن ومعالجة الأزمة الإنسانية الراهنة.

وأعرب المبعوث الدولي عن القلق بشأن زيادة عدد القذائف التي أطلقت باتجاه المملكة العربية السعودية خلال الأسابيع الماضية.

وأشار إلى استمرار المواجهات العسكرية والقصف الجوي في عدد كبير من المناطق باليمن، منها صنعاء وتعز والجوف ومأرب والحديدة وحجة والبيضاء ولحج.

وفي ختام إحاطته قال غريفيثس إن الوساطة ستفشل بدون الجهود الدبلوماسية. وأكد أنه سيفعل كل ما يمكن لإيجاد توافق بين اليمنيين، ولكنه شدد على أهمية اتحاد مجلس الأمن الدولي تجاه الوضع في اليمن.

UNHCR alarmed at horrific conditions facing newly-arrived refugees and migrants in Yemen

By Shabia Mantoo | 17 April 2018 – ADEN, Yemen

In excruciating pain from weeks of beatings and now suffering from gangrene and facing a leg amputation, 30-year-old Ethiopian refugee Jon* never imagined his quest for safety would result in such a horrific ordeal.

“I landed in Yemen about a month ago. I was dragged by armed men who held me captive for over a month. They beat me so badly that I lost track of what was happening,” he recounted while awaiting surgery.

Yemen is historically a country of migration, refuge and transit for people fleeing the Horn of Africa. But more than three years of conflict have plunged the country into the world’s deepest humanitarian crisis, and Jon is one of many to have crossed the Gulf of Aden in search of safety only to meet new dangers on arrival.

Last year, according to humanitarian partner data, more than 87,000 new arrivals, including refugees and migrants, crossed from the Horn of Africa to Yemen.

“They beat me so badly that I lost track of what was happening.”

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Tuesday warned that worsening conditions in Yemen as a result of unabated conflict, deteriorating economic conditions and increasing criminality are exposing them to harm and exploitation.

“With prolonged conflict and insecurity threatening state institutions and weakening the rule of law, there are growing accounts of extortion, trafficking and deportation,” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler told journalists at a news briefing in Geneva.

Spindler said refugees and migrants reaching Yemeni shores are routinely arrested, detained, abused, or extorted, and in some cases forcibly returned by the same smugglers who brought them to the country.

Since February this year, UNHCR has been following up on the situation of at least 100 new arrivals to Yemen who have been arrested and held inside detention facilities. There have been numerous reports of abuse, with some new arrivals subjected to physical and sexual violence as well as psychological harassment.

Survivors have provided UNHCR with accounts of being shot at, suffering regular beatings, rapes of adults and children, humiliation including being forcibly stripped, made to witness summary executions, as well as denial of food.

“They whipped us on our backs and our hands,” said Sam,* an asylum seeker from the Horn of Africa who arrived in Yemen more than a year ago and was held in various detention facilities across the country. “Some nights I wouldn’t even be able to sleep because my back would be ripped and swollen from all the beatings and I would be left in agonising pain.”

Held indefinitely without due process, many are now languishing in overcrowded and unsanitary detention facilities where in addition to abuse, they are threatened with the prospect of deportation to the countries from which they fled persecution or conflict.

Since February this year, UNHCR has been following up on the situation of at least 100 new arrivals to Yemen who have been arrested and held inside detention facilities. There have been numerous reports of abuse, with some new arrivals subjected to physical and sexual violence as well as psychological harassment.

Survivors have provided UNHCR with accounts of being shot at, suffering regular beatings, rapes of adults and children, humiliation including being forcibly stripped, made to witness summary executions, as well as denial of food.

“They whipped us on our backs and our hands,” said Sam,* an asylum seeker from the Horn of Africa who arrived in Yemen more than a year ago and was held in various detention facilities across the country. “Some nights I wouldn’t even be able to sleep because my back would be ripped and swollen from all the beatings and I would be left in agonising pain.”

Held indefinitely without due process, many are now languishing in overcrowded and unsanitary detention facilities where in addition to abuse, they are threatened with the prospect of deportation to the countries from which they fled persecution or conflict.

Attempts by UNHCR to engage in advocacy on these issues have been regularly frustrated, given the complex structures of responsibility and accountability as a result of the ongoing conflict across the country.

UNHCR is appealing to all state and non-state actors that are effectively controlling detention facilities where new arrivals are being held, to ensure those being detained are treated humanely and with dignity in accordance with refugee and human rights law. It is also demanding unfettered access to detainees in order to assist those seeking international protection.

“I left my country in pursuit of freedom, but when I came to Yemen I was arrested and detained.”

UNHCR has been supporting authorities in Yemen to receive, register and document refugees and asylum seekers and is seeking to increase support to the Immigration, Passport and Naturalization Authority to further improve reception arrangements for new arrivals.

With the prevailing conflict and insecurity in Yemen offering little prospect of protection, UNHCR has long been warning of the risks of crossing to the war-stricken country. In February last year, it launched a regional awareness campaign entitled Dangerous Crossings designed to spread awareness among those contemplating the perilous journey to Yemen from the Horn of Africa.

For asylum seeker Sam,* the travesty of fleeing his home country in search of liberty only to be stripped of it in his place of refuge is not lost on him.

“I left my country in pursuit of freedom, but when I came to Yemen I was arrested and detained and freedom was taken from me.”

*Names changed for protection purposes

The Deputy Secretary-General — Remarks at Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict

New York, 16 April 2018

[As prepared for delivery]

Mr. President of the Security Council,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin by commending Peru and His Excellency Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra for convening this important debate on sexual violence in conflict.

I also welcome Ms. Razia Sultana, here today to amplify the voices of the Rohingya community and to offer an account of the plight of women and girls systematically targeted due to their religion and ethnicity.

This year, in Myanmar and many other conflict situations, the widespread threat and use of sexual violence has, once again, been used as a tactic to advance military, economic and ideological objectives.

And, once again, it has been a driver of massive forced displacement.

Let me be clear, both genders endure the horrific brutality of sexual violence in conflict.

Sexual violence is also a very common method of torture of detainees.

And, in many conflicts, most detainees are men and boys.

But, overall, women and girls are disproportionately affected.

Gender-based discrimination is the invisible driver of most crimes of sexual violence.

And, the lower a woman’s status — in terms of health, wealth and education — the greater is her vulnerability and exposure to harm.

Last year, I travelled with SRSG Pramila Patten to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In both nations, the consequences of sexual violence are profound and enduring for survivors, their families and their communities.

Survivors are forced to live with untreated physical and psychological trauma, social stigma and unwanted pregnancies.

The children born of rape are often ostracized and relegated to the margins of society.

This highlights yet again that, in the end, sexual violence has consequences for all affected – women and girls, men and boys.

It is a deliberate tactic to humiliate and disempower, and undermines social cohesion.

Our responsibility must be to bring justice, recognition and reparations to the survivors of these horrendous crimes.

Not only justice in the courtrooms, but also social justice and economic empowerment.

We should recognize and support the resilience of the many survivors who are working as agents of change.

And, if we are to prevent these crimes being repeated, we must ensure accountability and deterrence.

In that context, I welcome the continued engagement by those parties listed by the Secretary-General in his reports on conflict-related sexual violence.

For example, the signing of a Unilateral Communiqué by a coalition of armed groups in Mali in July 2017, and the development of a Joint Communiqué Implementation Plan by the Iraq Government last month, are very encouraging.

Excellencies,

Let me also highlight the increased vigilance being shown by our peacekeepers in protecting women, girls, men and boys from sexual violence as part of their protection of civilian mandate.

Last month, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a “Female Engagement Team” of 16 soldiers from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Nepal supported a civilian mission to one of the country’s most remote areas in response to reports of abductions and sexual violence inflicted on hundreds of civilians.

This shows the value of alert networks and the importance of women in peacekeeping to better address conflict-related sexual violence.

Women’s Protection Advisers deployed to UN peace operations also have a leading role to play in supporting government counterparts to implement their commitments.

These commitments include engaging all parties to the conflict to prevent sexual violence.

And they include ensuring that survivors and civil society organizations can voice their concerns about security, protection and limitations in service-provision, and that they can help shape inclusive new policies and laws.

Excellencies,

Security Council resolution 2106 calls on all actors — the Security Council, parties to armed conflict, Member States and United Nations entities — to do more to combat impunity for these crimes.

Let us intensify our efforts to end the horrific litany of sexual violence in conflict so that women, girls, men and boys have one less burden to bear as they work to rebuild shattered lives.

Thank you.