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MSF worried US Ansar Allah sanctions will have detrimental impact in Yemen

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As MSF, we run or support hospitals and clinics in 13 governorates across Yemen, including in the parts of the country controlled by Ansar Allah. Therefore, we are required to work inside the system that they control: for example, to bring lifesaving medication and medical equipment to the country we are required to coordinate with them and pay fees.

We also work collaboratively with the Ministry of Health in places such as Khamer, where we jointly run a hospital, and where we pay to top-up the salaries of government healthcare workers, many of whom have not been paid for years. These are things that could technically be rendered illegal by the US designation, and will become much more difficult to do if there are not sufficient exemptions.

What is the situation like in Yemen today? Is MSF worried about a famine in the country?

This is coming at a time when the Yemeni people are suffering the effects of six years of war. The healthcare system has been destroyed. The price of food and fuel is increasing, with the economy in meltdown. We know that COVID-19 made many people sick, and that many people died, but it is impossible to know how many exactly because there was very little testing done, and the results of tests carried out in areas controlled by Ansar Allah were not released publicly by them.

It is already very difficult, therefore, to provide aid to those Yemenis who need it most, and despite all that we and other organisations do there are many unmet needs in the country. Restrictions and obstacles imposed by authorities are a permanent feature of working in Yemen, particularly in the north of the country.


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