Sana'a, Yemen, December 22, 2019 — In the early hours of December 22nd, both an International Rescue Committee (IRC) office and women’s center in Al Dhale’e, Yemen were targeted and hit by rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). One on duty security guard sustained non life-threatening injuries and is being treated at a nearby hospital. No IRC staff have been killed. Other agencies have also been targeted.
Salma Ben Aissa, Yemen Deputy Director of Programs at the IRC said,
“The IRC has suspended all movements and programming in the area and advised staff to stay home. We are extremely concerned for the safety of our staff who live and work in this area. IRC staff and other aid workers put their lives on the line by working in some of the most dangerous conditions and dedicate their work to helping others survive and recover from the trauma of war. Now and always, aid workers are not a target. Those who will suffer the most are innocent Yemenis who benefit from IRC’s critical health, protection and education work in this area. We will continue to monitor the situation and start programming as soon as it is deemed safe for our staff to return to work.”
The IRC has been working in Yemen since 2012 and rapidly scaled our programming in 2015 to address greater humanitarian need caused by the conflict. While the ongoing conflict and restrictions of air and seaports create challenges to our operations, the IRC has maintained access to affected populations and continues to provide life-saving healthcare, economic empowerment, women’s protection and empowerment, and education programming.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.