Millions of people with disabilities in Yemen have not only endured years of armed conflict but are also among those most excluded amid what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, Amnesty International said.
The report “Living with Disabilities in Yemen’s Armed Conflict” follows six months of research, including visits to three southern Yemeni regions and interviews with almost 100 people – documenting the experience of 53 women, men and children with a wide spectrum of disabilities.
“Yemen’s war has been characterised by unlawful bombings, displacement and a dearth of basic services, leaving many struggling to survive. The humanitarian response is overstretched, but people with disabilities – who are already among those most at risk in armed conflict – should not face even greater challenges in accessing essential aid,” said Rawya Rageh, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.
“International donors, the United Nations, and humanitarian organisations working with the Yemeni authorities must do more to overcome the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from meeting even their most basic needs.” People with disabilities experience compounded difficulties fleeing violence. Many told Amnesty International they undertook exhausting displacement journeys without wheelchairs, crutches or other assistive devices. Almost all of them depended on their families or friends. Some people with disabilities were left behind as their families fled because they were separated in the chaos, or because the trip was too difficult for the person with a disability to undertake.