The ICRC fears the worst-case scenario in crowded IDP camps and prisons in conflict zones around the world
ICRC: Fighting COVID-19 pandemic “almost impossible” in places like Yemen
As the world focuses on combating the coronavirus pandemic, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has declared its fight in Yemen and other conflict countries “almost impossible,” unless states and humanitarian organizations immediately launch a coordinated response.
Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, described how coronavirus has overwhelmed even the most advanced health care systems. In Yemen, and other conflict-ridden areas in which ICRC operates, basic life-saving resources such as clean water, soap and medicine are often in short supply. After five years of war, only about half of Yemen’s health centers are fully functional, leaving its overcrowded health care infrastructure and intensive care capacity woefully unprepared.
The ICRC fears the worst-case scenario in crowded camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) around the world, as well as for those who are incarcerated.
“[The] World Health Organization (WHO) is the first responder to this kind of crisis," Yara Khawaja, the spokeswoman for ICRC in Yemen, told Almasdar Online. “ICRC also seeks to support Red Crescent activities to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus, especially in places where it is difficult for other humanitarian organizations to reach," she added.
Khawaja said that while no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been found in Yemen to date, the ICRC is coordinating through the Yemen Red Crescent and local authorities to raise awareness and prevent the spread of the virus.
The governor of Hadhramout, Major General Faraj Al-Bahsani, announced a daily 12-hour curfew throughout the governorate starting April 2 at 4 p.m.
The curfew excludes essential workers, including medical and health personnel.