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Boy carries jerry cans to fill from a water tanker truck in a slum neighborhood in Yemen's Red Sea city of Houdieda © REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

Press release


Yemen : Starvation may have been used as a method of warfare

In the report, the Group of Eminent Experts¹ identifies the situation in Yemen as a “collective failure and collective responsibility” and calls for immediate cessation of all acts of violence. The Group maintains that “indiscriminate attacks against civilian infrastructure such as hospitals, water facilities, food transport, farms and market places, as well as the use of blockade- and siege-like warfare, impeding humanitarian access, and similar measures have exacerbated the disastrous humanitarian situation in the country.”

“This report recognizes the shocking level of violations committed in Yemen by all parties to the conflict and is especially astonishing regarding the recognition of the use of starvation as a method of warfare in Yemen, which is a war crime.” says Lucile Grosjean, Humanitarian Crisis and Conflict Advocacy Advisor at Action Contre la Faim.

"Actions must now be taken by all decision makers to stop these violations, insist on better protection of civilians, and ensure accountability for committed crimes"
Lucile Grosjean
Humanitarian Crisis and Conflict Advocacy Advisor, Action contre la Faim

Action Contre la Faim fully supports the recommendations outlined in the report and especially calls on the responsibility of the UN Security Council who committed to act when hunger is used as a weapon of war in the Resolution 2417 unanimously adopted in 2018.

To the Editors:

Five years into the conflict, the economic situation in Yemen is close to collapse, with 80% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. Total or partial non-payment of salaries since August 2016 and loss of jobs are affecting people’s income and ability to buy food and other commodities vital for survival. As no more commercial imports pass through the port of Hodeidah, the population is experiencing limited food availability and accessibility, as food and other items need to travel long distances to reach those in need. Access to markets is also limited in active fighting zones across Yemen. According to the IPC², 69% of all districts in Yemen are at risk of famine and 3.2 million people require treatment for acute malnutrition.

Although international humanitarian law clearly prohibits denial of humanitarian access to civilians in need of aid, humanitarian organizations in Yemen continue to face daily obstructions and obstacles to deliver humanitarian assistance.

¹ A group of experts commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor human rights violations in Yemen.

² Integrated Food Security Phase Classification

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