Sana’a, 4 October 2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Yemen Mr. Altaf Musani, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Ms. Lise Grande, and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Mr. Martin Griffiths welcomed the return today of patients who have been receiving medical care in Jordan for diseases and conditions which cannot be treated in Yemen.
“It’s wonderful to see patients coming home after receiving treatment,” said Ms. Grande. “These are very special people. They were selected for the first flights of the medical airbridge in February because they were suffering from cancer, kidney disease and congenital anomalies and couldn’t get the help they needed in Yemen.”
“Because of the war, blockades and the breakdown of the health system, their only hope was to leave the country,” said Ms. Grande.
WHO and the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen facilitated the flights in collaboration with local health authorities. The UN is grateful to the Yemeni authorities for their collaboration, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting the patients and the Arab Republic of Egypt for their willingness to assist, as well as to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its assistance in the initiative.
“We are grateful to everyone who collaborated in making this medical air bridge happen. However, opening the Sana’a airport is one of the sustainable ways for Yemenis to receive life-saving medical treatment abroad”, said the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths.
Millions of Yemenis struggle daily to access healthcare. Health partners are continuing to support health authorities to respond to increasing health needs, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 per cent of the population – over 24 million people – require some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. Only $1.3 billion of the $3.2 billion needed in 2020 for the humanitarian response has been received.