Symposium: The repercussions of the humanitarian crisis on Yemen


The Al Baraem Association, in cooperation with the Yemeni Center for Human Rights has on Thursday organised a symposium under the title, “The repercussions of the humanitarian crisis on Yemen after the closure of Sana’a International Airport”, in the sidelines of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The symposium was held virtually, in which a number of academics and international jurists who spoke about the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Four papers were presented and discussed during the symposium.

The first paper, presented by Lebanese Dr. Rola Hoteit, Director of the Arab Observatory for Human Rights and Citizenship, was entitled “Criminal Violations and Humanitarian Crimes of the Seven-Year War in Yemen.”

She said the human rights and humanitarian organisations’ silence on the crimes committed against Yemenis in general, women and children in particular, enhances the certainty of all that the UN’s silence is the true murderer of the Yemeni people on the one hand and puts these organisations in confusing duplication.”

She called on all civil society institutions, working in the field of human rights, media and monitoring and documentation centers, to “intensify their efforts towards the crimes committed in Yemen against women, children, young people and the elderly, as well as documenting crimes against women, such as murder, rape, abduction and exposing them to international public opinion, in order to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

The second paper was presented Dr. Abir Dammak, advisor on diplomatic relations and international conflict resolution to the Afro-Asian Union in Tunisia, and was entitled “Effects of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and its reflection on the regional reality.”

“The Yemeni people have become sick, hungry and displaced from the beginning of the conflict until now,” she said.

“Nearly 3 million people have left their homes and become displaced in different regions of the country. These displaced people are putting a lot of pressure on Yemen’s infrastructure, which is essentially old and dilapidated.”

She continued, “Conflict and displacement caused the infrastructure and health sector at the moment to be in a state of near complete collapse. So we see outbreak of diseases that are supposed to have disappeared in the world or been controlled, such as cholera, diphtheria and measles. It is known that one of the causes of measles is malnutrition.”

“The [Hadi] regime has completely collapsed, of course, and has had a major impact on the Yemeni people, and in the current situation, unfortunately, we see only hunger, disease and displacement in Yemen,” she added.

The third paper was presented by Amira al-Arasi, advisor to the Ministry of Human Rights in Yemen, on “Arbitrary Detentions and Enforced Disappearances of Citizens and Expatriates at Aden Airport and Border Crossings.”

She said Sana’a airport plays an important role in economic and social development.

“There was a project to expand the airport greatly, however the coalition countries led by US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE sought to destroy it, directly through suspension of its works and indirectly by imposing a ban on it and closing all services it provides to citizens and all public and private sectors.”

Al-Arasi also spoke about the repercussions of the closure on the economy, pointing out that “before the aggression, most Yemenis lived below the poverty line with an income of less than $2 a day, according to official reports (…) In the light of the aggression and unjust practices for two and a half years ago, the economic situation has worsened.”

According to reports by international organizations such as UNICEF, WFP and WHO, the operations and practices of aggression, including the economic blockade, have led to the collapse of the national economy.”

The fourth paper was presented by Dr. Mayada Razzouk, writer and academic from Syria, and was named “The repercussions of the humanitarian crisis for travelers and patients after the closure of Sana’a Airport”.

Razzosuk said that the continued closure of Sana’a airport and air blockade, in full view the UN and international organisations, has turned Yemen into a huge prison, creating a human tragedy in violation of all humanitarian and Islamic norms, as well as being a flagrant violation of the laws of war and all international treaties and conventions.

“Yemen is suffering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. After nearly five years of the closure of Sana’a airport, the coalition countries are using it as a pressure point. But so far, they failed to make any achievement other than claiming the lives of patients who were prevented from travelling for necessary medical care.”