Leading British aid worker in Yemen gives statement and available for interview on death of Ali Abdullah Saleh

Rehan Salim, the Country Director in Yemen, for Human Appeal – one of the leading British NGOs working in Yemen, is currently in the UK and available for interview about the conditions on the ground and the humanitarian situation in Yemen. He has specialised in the response to the Cholera crisis and health and malnutrition in the governates of Sana’a, Hodaydah and Aden.

Human Appeal have today announced they have secured funding from UNOCHA and the World Health Organisation to deliver over £1.7m worth of aid to over 87,000 Yemenis through fighting the unprecedented cholera epidemic and providing healthcare and food.

Mr Salim has been working in Yemen since August 2017 but is currently in the UK as he is unable to re-enter the country due to restrictions being placed on people entering because of the conflict.

Mr Salim says:

“The situation in Yemen has already been designated as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, but my fear is that the current events in Yemen will lead to an escalation of violence and retaliation which would not only exasperate the humanitarian crisis but it will also mean the only thing that can stop the suffering -  a peace settlement – is even further from reach.

“The blockade of Hodaydah port adds to the suffering of those most in need Yemen, with 8.4 million on the brink of starvation prior to the blockade. 350,000 metric tons of food is required to feed Yemen every month, but the blockade is stopping over 500,000 metric tons of food reaching Yemenis.

“The Cholera epidemic is currently out of control, we recently had nearly a million suspected cases.  If we enter into a chain events which increase the violence and sustain the blockade, this could lead to Yemenis having even worse access to clean water which could lead to another, more dramatic spike in Cholera. And, with hospitals struggling to operate due to lack of fuel from the blockade, the result could be devastating.

“At Human Appeal, we are a prominent NGO on the ground, fighting cholera and starvation, but we can only paper over the cracks until an agreement to end the conflict is reached and the blockade is lifted. My fear today it will lead to a series of events where the situation gets a lot worse, not better.”

Notes to Editors

To interview Rehan, please email press@humanappeal.org.uk or call Charles Lawley on 07535 415 060

Human Appeal (www.humanappeal.org.uk) is one of the UK’s fastest growing charities. With a presence in 25 countries, spanning Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, we help in times of crisis and we deliver sustainable development programmes in the world’s poorest nations.

Since the start of the conflict, Human Appeal have helped over 500,000 Yemenis, most of whom through providing healthcare and supporting hospitals. Human Appeal have also delivered aid through the forms of food, clothing, shelter and clean water.

In March, to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Yemeni Civil War, Human Appeal and YouGov released a survey finding that 51% of the UK were unaware that there was a conflict in Yemen. More information here: https://humanappeal.org.uk/news/press-releases/2017/yemeni-civil-war-over-half-uk-population-unaware-of-conflict-as-it-reaches-second-anniversary/

For images of Rehan Salim providing aid in Iraq and images of Human Appeal’s operation in Yemen please see the following gallery.  https://media.humanappeal.net/pages/search.php?search=%21collection937&k=1be61b0a1d

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