International Non-Government Organisations working in Yemen condemn in the strongest terms the abhorrent attack on an ICRC vehicle that resulted in the killing of an employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross earlier today, 21 April 2018. We are deeply shocked by the death of Hanna Lahoud, a member of the humanitarian community who gave his life delivering assistance to people in dire need of aid. Our deepest condolences go to Hanna’s family, friends and colleagues at the International Committee of the Red Cross.
“As a very close knit international community, we are all saddened by the death of our colleague, Hanna,“ said Shane Stevenson, Country Director of Oxfam in Yemen. “Our most sincere sympathies go to Hanna’s family and colleagues at ICRC. We are appalled by this brutal attack on a fellow humanitarian who gave his life working to help others in need. Aid workers need security and protection to deliver life-saving aid, and we remain committed to the cause for which Hanna gave his life.”
Humanitarian organisations in Yemen work in accordance with humanitarian principles of humanity, independence, neutrality and impartiality to deliver aid to populations affected by violent conflict. More than three quarters of Yemen’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance or protection that alleviates suffering and promotes dignity in the context of a war that is depriving many of the things they need to stay alive. An attack on humanitarian workers; UN, ICRC or non-government organisation – it is not only an attack on a humanitarian worker but also on the rights of people affected by conflict to receive assistance and protection.
INGOs in Yemen call on all parties to the conflict, authorities in Yemen and the international community to take concrete steps that guarantee the protection of humanitarian personnel and materials, as is provided for under International Humanitarian Law. We will not allow violence of this kind to deter our efforts to support highly vulnerable people in Yemen but need absolute assurance we can do so with safety.