On 22 December, at around 1am, Oxfam’s office in Al Dhale’e was hit by two RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades). One hit the roof, while the other hit the office gate. Neither of the guards on duty were injured and there were no other staff present. The offices of several other agencies in Al Dhale’e were also targeted at around the same time.
Due to the attack, Oxfam has suspended all staff movements and operations in the area and advised staff to stay home.
Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam’s Country Director in Yemen, said:
“Our first priority has to be the the safety and wellbeing of our staff, and we are doing all we can to keep them safe. Aid workers should not be a target; it is essential that agencies are able to operate freely, without threats to the safety of staff and property.
Organisations like Oxfam are a key source of aid for millions of people struggling to survive the conflict in Yemen. Attacks on our operations ultimately hurt the Yemenis who rely on the assistance we provide.”
Oxfam has been working in Al Dhale’e to provide people with equitable and safe access to water and sanitation services, cash assistance and food vouchers, as well as helping to build resilient livelihoods to cope with the impact of the conflict. The suspension of operations in Al Dhale’e will affect around 1,359 households who would have benefited from cash assistance and 5,000 people who would have benefited from infrastructure projects, as well as 485 people due to undertake vocational training activities.
Oxfam has been working in Yemen since 1983. Since the escalation of the conflict in 2015, we have reached more than 3 million people with life-saving assistance.