The Death Toll in Yemen Is So High the Red Cross Has Started Donating Morgues to Hospitals

From The Intercept:


“The hospitals were not able to cope,” said Rima Kamal, a Yemen-based spokesperson for the Red Cross. “You could have more than 20 dead people brought into one hospital on one single day. The morgue capacity at a regular hospital is not equipped to handle this influx of dead bodies.”

“At times several dead bodies had to be stored on one shelf to avoid further decomposition,” Kamal continued. “The situation was not sustainable.”

Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen in March 2015, after Houthi rebels took control of the capital and forced Yemen’s Saudi-backed leader, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, into exile. The United Nations has since attributed the majority of the war’s 6,500 deaths to the Saudi coalition, which the U.S. and U.K. have resupplied with tens of billions of dollars of weapons.

The Red Cross has donated body bags and refrigerated storage machines to three hospitals – two in the capital of Sana’a, and one in Dhamar, in southwestern Yemen. “More are in the pipeline,” said Kamal.

Aid workers also train hospital staff in the forensics of identifying bodies.

“It is not that common for the ICRC to donate morgues,” said Kamal. “The fact that we now do is telling of the size of the human tragedy in Yemen.”

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