The World Health Organization (WHO) condemns the bombing of the hospital in Saada province in northern Yemen that was supported by Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF estimates that this will leave 200 000 people with no access to lifesaving medical care.
The attack violates International Humanitarian Law. It is the second attack on an MSF-run health facility in a month. On 3 October, 30 people were killed when the MSF-supported medical clinic in Kunduz, Afghanistan was bombed. Twenty-seven MSF staff were injured.
The bombing represents a serious setback for both MSF and the affected community and an additional challenge to humanitarian work in Yemen.
WHO once again urges all parties in the conflict to respect the safety and neutrality of health workers and health facilities. Tragedies like this can and should be avoided, by warring parties consistently observing International Humanitarian Law and taking all necessary precautionary measures.
WHO is increasingly concerned by the continuous threats to health workers, facilities and transport, particularly in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. WHO is working together with partners to protect patients, health workers, health infrastructure and supplies from violence and thus minimize disruptions to desperately needed health care.