Yemen

Projects in Ad Dhale close due to insecurity and threats

  • MSF has been working in Ad Dhale since 2012 and was one of the few medical organisations delivering humanitarian assistance to the local community.
  • In spite of repeated suspensions of our activities and constant negotiations with all stakeholders, security incidents and threats in Ad Dhale town continue.
  • This has been a very difficult decision for MSF to take, but one that at this point is unavoidable for the safety and security of our staff.

Amsterdam/ Sana’a - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced today the closure of its humanitarian project in Ad Dhale governorate, southern Yemen.

This extremely difficult decision to close is a result of repeated attacks and threats of violence on the medical facility, health staff and, most recently, MSF’s residence in the town of Ad Dhale.

“Humanitarian organisations must be able to provide much-needed medical humanitarian assistance without being threatened with violence. This has not been respected in the Ad Dhale town,” says Ton Berg, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “There have been multiple security incidents directly targeting patients, staff and MSF-supported medical facilities in the area. After this series of serious incidents, we are left with no choice but to close all medical and humanitarian activities in Ad Dhale governorate.”

“Our activities have been suspended several times in the past years. In the latest example, in October 2018, our staff house in Ad Dhale was attacked twice in less than a week. In spite of these suspensions and constant negotiations with all stakeholders, security incidents and threats in the town of Ad Dhale continue. With such a threat to safety, MSF sees no possibility of providing quality, impartial healthcare,” Berg added.  

This has been a very difficult decision to take, but one that at this point is unavoidable for the safety and security of our staff. Ton Berg, MSF head of mission in Yemen

The closure of activities affects four MSF-supported health facilities: Al Nasr Hospital in Ad Dhale town, Al Salaam primary healthcare centre in Qatabah, Thee Jalal primary healthcare centre in Al Azariq, and Damt primary healthcare centre.

MSF was one of the few medical organisations delivering humanitarian assistance to the community in Ad Dhale. MSF acknowledges the impact this closure will have on access to healthcare in the governorate, and that it will deprive thousands of Yemenis of much-needed humanitarian and medical assistance.

“We deeply regret that it has come to this point. This has been a very difficult decision for MSF to take, but one that at this point is unavoidable for the safety and security of our staff,” Berg said.

MSF has been working in Ad Dhale since 2012 supporting the provision of free medical care to the people of Ad Dhale, Qatabah, Al Azariq and Damt districts. Over time and through conflict, epidemics and widespread medical needs, MSF’s support has enabled these health facilities to treat more than 400,000 patients across the governorate.

MSF remains committed to supporting the Yemeni people and provides support to more than 12 hospitals and health centres across 11 governorates.

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Yemen
Statement 2 October 2018