The conflict in Yemen, raging since 2015, has generated the worst humanitarian crisis in the world: tens of thousands of people have been killed or injured and nearly three quarters of the population depends on humanitarian assistance. By 2018, an estimated 50 percent of health care infrastructure had reportedly been destroyed by airstrikes and artillery attacks. PHR has worked to draw international attention to the ongoing mass atrocities, including the blocking of humanitarian aid, attacks on health workers and health facilities, and the use of starvation as a weapon of war – all clear violations of medical neutrality.
PHR has also condemned the weaponization of diseases such as cholera, polio, and measles as part of a cruel, illegal, and intentional strategy by the warring parties.
In a joint statement with Watchlist in May 2017, PHR, along with other members of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, called upon the UN Security Council to improve efforts to gather data on attacks on healthcare, as well as investigate these attacks and bring justice to victims, including physicians and patients.
In 2020, PHR partnered with Mwatana for an investigation of how the Saudi-Emirati-led Coalition, Yemeni government, and Houthi armed group have decimated Yemen’s health system, inflicted widespread death, and likely committed war crimes. The report, “I ripped the IV out of my arm and started running”: Attacks on Health Care in Yemen, is available in English and Arabic.
Read more about the toll of the conflict in PHR’s Yemen newsletters.