Riyadh, Jeddah – “Doctors Without Borders” (MSF) announced on Thursday it would stop its assistance program in al-Thawra hospital in the province of Ibb located in north of Yemen, as it was prevented from carrying its work with impartiality.
Hugues Robert, MSF Program Manager for Yemen, said in a statement that the organization has decided to leave the hospital in a gradual manner, as it was unable to perform its activities with independence.
“Due to our inability to run activities according to MSF’s principles of independence and impartiality, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw from al-Thawra hospital in Ibb, Yemen,” Robert said.
“Our departure is not immediate and will happen gradually over the course of the next three months,” he added.
The statement also noted that MSF has been providing life-saving care in the emergency room of al-Thawra hospital in Ibb since January 2016, and in the last year over 41,000 patients have been treated.
The organization stressed that it was seeking to fulfill its humanitarian mission away from any forms of religious or political discrimination.
“MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that treats patients irrespective of their religious, tribal, political or other affiliations. All medical care provided by MSF is free of charge and accessible to all, without discrimination,” the statement said.
While stressing its commitment to assist the war-stricken Yemeni population, MSF urged the warring parties to protect civilians and hospitals.
“MSF remains committed to the Yemeni population and will continue its medical activities in nine governorates. We reiterate our call on all parties to the conflict to respect civilian lives and medical structures,” the statement concluded.
Yemeni Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of Relief Higher Committee Abdul Raqib Fatah blamed the withdrawal of MSF from al-Thawra Hospital on disturbances of Houthi militias.
In a statement to Yemen’s news agency Saba, Fatah said Houthi militias and supporters of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh were exerting pressure on humanitarian organizations working in Yemen.