Deadly sieges in Madaya, Syria & Taiz, Yemen - immediate medical, food supplies & medical evacuations needed

MSF calls for immediate life-saving delivery of medicine and food supplies and for sick patients urgently evacuated to safe places of treatment in two besieged cities in Yemen and Syria.

Friday, January 8, 2016 — YEMEN – FIRST PERSON TESTIMONY: As the conflict intensifies in Yemen, with Houthi militia battling a Saudi-led coalition for control of the country, MSF is increasingly concerned about the situation facing over 250,000 people besieged in the southern city of Taiz since November 2015.

 After being denied access at Houthi checkpoints to cross into the Taiz enclave besieged by the Ansarallah (Houthi) group with medical supplies since October 2015, a small team of MSF staff were finally able to enter the area on Sunday 3 January for one night only, returning the next day. 

As with previous attempts, MSF was given access to Taiz only on condition that we not carry any desperately needed supplies. Of Taiz’s 20 hospitals, the six remaining have now been forced to partially close some services and are overwhelmed with injured people.

MSF nurse Nora Echaibi, who has been working in Yemen since April 2015, was part of the team. She provides here one of the few first-hand accounts of the situation inside the enclave, the particular shortages in hospitals and the general atmosphere among the people in this besieged city.

Nora’s FIRST-PERSON TESTIMONY plus PHOTOS of Nora & the city of Taiz, are available here: http://prez.ly/cio

SYRIA – PRESS RELEASE: In Madaya, which sits near the Lebanon border, over 20,000 people face imminent starvation and death if not given access to the basics for survival. Since a single one-off food distribution on 18 October, the situation has reached a total stranglehold siege, in sub-zero temperatures. 23 patients in the health centre supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have died of starvation since 01 December.

The situation in Madaya is an extreme example of sieges that are in place in many parts of Syria, enforced by both the Syrian government and by Armed Opposition Groups. MSF is very worried about the potential for similar situations to arise in other besieged zones

The full PRESS RELEASE on the Madaya siege is available here: http://prez.ly/jio

Interviews with MSF’s operations staff on the situation in Yemen and Syria are available on request.