Alison Bottomley is responsible for advocacy of Handicap international. It lies for several months in Sana'a, Yemen. The NGO has published Friday a report on the long-term impact of explosive weapons in populated area. Yemen has been plagued by war for nearly six years. The humanitarian crisis has added to the health crisis of the sars coronavirus. 19.7 million people lack sufficient access to care.
LE FIGARO.- Handicap international has published a report on the impact of the bombing in Yemen. What lessons do you draw from this?
Alison BOTTOMLEY.- Yemen undergoes a forgotten crisis. When the bombings occur, people die. But we do not talk enough of the consequences on the infrastructure of explosive weapons with wide impact area. The people have to suffer for years or even decades. It is difficult to reconstruct the buildings destroyed, and the problems accumulate. The damage continues to cause death. This is what's called the reverb effect. It is a death sentence scheduled. Our report identifies clear examples without being exhaustive. But we know that 90% of the victims of these explosive weapons with wide impact area are civilians. Handicap International is conducting a campaign for the ban.
do you Have examples of these "reverb effects"?
Yemen 90 per cent dependent on imports for food, medicines or fuel. At the beginning of the conflict, the port of Hodeidah has been bombed and two cranes have been destroyed. The cost of imports increased and the price of food has increased by nearly 30%. This destruction has been long term effects. One can also speak of roads, on which the country depends. When it takes 16 hours to reach a position of care, because the infrastructure is damaged, it makes a difference. On the port of Hodeidah, the cranes have been replaced, but we can't talk about back to normal. To rebuild a country in a time of war is extremely hard. I added that whether these facilities have been deliberately targeted is secondary. The consequences are the same.
The calls to the cease-fire have they changed something?
The cease-fire have not really had impact. The conflict has not stopped in recent months. The country has today 4 million people displaced. These are particularly vulnerable to the risks of the Covid-19.
Where is Yemen in the face of the coronavirus?
The country is facing a crisis within the crisis. The epidemic is spreading and the republic of Yemen is at the level where the Europe a few months ago. But its health system is near collapse. Half of the medical facilities no longer works. There are few abilities and a lot of needs. There is a lack of equipment such as gloves or masks. People are afraid to move. Caregivers, who are unpaid, have sometimes abandoned their posts. The destruction of the health infrastructure has facilitated the return of water-related diseases. The country is facing a cholera epidemic, but also of malaria and dengue fever. These diseases have similar symptoms. People do not know what they die.
The activity of your NGO on the scene is under threat?
The issue is that of the duty and the selection of our teams. We can't ask them to work in a dangerous environment. But they are ready. I am appreciative of my colleagues. Despite the stress, the resilience is remarkable. This country is amazing but no country should have to suffer as much.The editorial team conseilleAu Yemen, the virus increases the ravages of the guerreSujetsAlison BottomleySanaaYemenCovid-19Handicap internationalAucun comment
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