Yemen war hits people with disabilities hardest: Amnesty

DUBAI (AFP) – The war that has ravaged Yemen has especially impacted the country’s estimated 4.5 million people living with disabilities, Amnesty International warned in a report yesterday.

The London-based human rights group called on donors, aid groups and United Nations (UN) agencies to take steps to better assist people with disabilities in displaced people’s centres.

“Yemen’s war has been characterised by unlawful bombings, displacement and a dearth of basic services, leaving many struggling to survive,” said Rawya Rageh, senior crisis advisor at Amnesty.

“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.”

The conflict between Saudi-backed government forces and Iran-backed Huthi rebels has raged since 2015, sparking what the UN terms the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Amnesty reported that many people with disabilities who have been forced to flee the violence had to leave behind their crutches or wheelchairs in the chaos of war.

People walk at the site of a car bomb attack in Sanaa. Yemen’s civil war has exacted an enormous toll on people with disabilities, who find themselves on the margins of society and excluded from badly needed humanitarian assistance, Amnesty International said in a report. PHOTO: AP