‘According to the UN, Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is proving extremely difficult. There are reports of increased infection rates and there is probably a very large number of unregistered cases. I am therefore very pleased that Norway, with the help of the Norwegian Red Cross, is able to provide a contribution for the establishment of a field hospital for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Aden, in the south of Yemen. The hospital will help to save lives and prevent an increase in infections in the long run,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Norway has provided a total of NOK 215 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen so far this year. This funding has been divided between the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN and Norwegian NGOs. Of this total, NOK 34 million has been allocated to support the activities of the Norwegian Red Cross in Yemen. A large proportion of this funding is being used by the Norwegian Red Cross to establish the field hospital, with the assistance of technical and health personnel from Norway.
Preparations for opening the field hospital were carried out in close cooperation with the Finnish Red Cross and the Yemen Red Crescent Society. The hospital will be run by the ICRC. It has been erected near a local hospital in Aden. It has a bed capacity of 60 and will provide treatment and care to Covid-19 patients. The hospital consists of an emergency department, wards, a radiology department and a laboratory.
The situation for the civil population of Yemen has never been more critical. According to UN estimates, 80 % of the population – some 24 million people – are in need of humanitarian aid and protection. The coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated the crisis. In addition, there is now major flooding in many parts of the country, and many people have been forced to leave their homes.
‘The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is man-made, a result of the civil war. It is therefore vital to make headway with political talks, and to secure agreement on a ceasefire. Norway is providing both political and financial support to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.