UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie calls for protection and support for the people of Yemen and an end to the conflict – UNHCR Netherlands

Every hour a civilian is killed or injured

The conflict in Yemen, which has lasted seven years, has caused multiple crises that affect all aspects of daily life. There were thousands of civilian casualties (a civilian was killed or injured every hour in January 2022), as well as widespread poverty, starvation, and economic collapse, leaving Yemenis on the brink of collapse.

Today, two out of three Yemenis need humanitarian aid to survive, which is equivalent to 20 million people. Ninety-two percent of all displaced Yemenis have no source of income and live on less than $40 a month.

Angelina Jolie, special envoy for refugees since 2011, arrived in Yemen on March 6. She met with internally displaced Yemenis as well as refugees in the north and south of the country.

Call for more protection and support

Jolie called on all parties involved in the conflict to respect and comply with international humanitarian law. She also called for preventing attacks on civilians and ensuring unhindered humanitarian access to all those in need and a safe exit for civilians to flee conflict zones.

Read more about the crisis in Yemen

Jolie urged the international community to increase support for Yemen. There are not enough resources available to support the population. A conference for Yemen will be held on March 16. Jolie also called for efforts to end the violence to be redoubled. More than 4 million people have been displaced in the last seven years.

Angelina Jolie speaks with IDPs

Jolie visited a site in the Lahj Governorate in southern Yemen, where people who have fled their homes in recent years are living in small shelters. Displaced families here told Special Envoy Jolie how they lost their homes, loved ones and livelihoods, describing how the conflict has destroyed all hope for their children and families. Mudeera, a mother of five who has been expelled from Taiz for the past four years, said none of her children attend school, have birth certificates or have been vaccinated. Every day she strives to give them more than just tea and bread.

In North Yemen, Jolie met Maryam, 65, at a shelter for internally displaced persons. Maryam has been displaced since 2016 and has lost her husband in the conflict. She told Jolie how three of her granddaughters died because the family couldn’t afford the care they needed.

Impact on women and girls

During her visit and on International Women’s Day, Jolie witnessed the catastrophic impact this conflict is having on Yemeni civilians, especially women and girls, who make up more than half of the displaced population. They already face levels of gender inequality and discrimination that are among the worst in the world, but their plight has been exacerbated by the ongoing conflict.

Jolie said: “The level of human suffering here is unimaginable. For every day that the vicious conflict in Yemen continues, more and more innocent lives will be lost and more people will continue to suffer. We live in a world where suffering and horror dominate the headlines, but where such headlines can result in overwhelming displays of compassion and international solidarity. I hope that this compassion and solidarity extends to the people of Yemen, who urgently need a speedy and peaceful resolution to this conflict, and to other displaced people, whoever they are and wherever they are in the world.”

“With more than 80 million people displaced around the world and calling for unfunded aid globally, we urgently need to find solutions that address conflict and allow displaced people to return home in dignity and safety.”

UNHCR continues to provide life-saving aid

UNHCR and its partners remain on the ground in Yemen, providing vital assistance by providing shelter, cash assistance and psychological support, as well as programs that specifically help protect children and prevent violence against women. While UNHCR hopes to maintain and expand its support until 2022 amid escalating fighting, the UN appeal for Yemen remains underfunded.

donate now

Leave a Comment