Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Battles in Northern Yemen mean less help for refugees

This morning we found many stories and news releases about the armed conflict in Yemen. Battles there are making it difficult for aid groups to take care of the people who have fled due to the fighting.

U.N. agencies have pulled out almost all of their staff and are instead giving aid to those in calmer areas. The International Red Cross still has workers in the area and say they are attempting to take care of 16,000 people.

From this IRIN story that we found at Reuters Alert Net, we read more about the battle in Yemen.

Aid organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to help civilians in the northern Yemeni governorate of Saada after renewed clashes there between the army and the al-Houthi Shia rebels.
"Saada is an active, armed confrontation with a very volatile security situation, so the World Food Programme [WFP] has to carefully balance staff security on one side and its mandate to assist affected people [on the other]," Gian Carlo Cirri, WFP's Yemen representative, told IRIN.

Fighting in Saada flared up again on 12 August. Aerial bombardments of Houthi strongholds in Saada have forced many to flee into neighbouring governorates.

According to UN agencies, there are some 150,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Saada and the governorates of al-Jawf, Hajjah and Amran as a result of the conflict.

The Yemeni Red Crescent (YRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are the only two organizations running IDP camps in Saada Governorate, according to Abbas Zabarah, secretary-general of the YRC.

Other international NGOs are also working in the region, but with great difficulty because of the insecure roads in and out of Saada.

"The difficulties of travelling the main roads hinder access to the population, and especially the injured, [and] to health structures," said a recent statement by Médecins Sans Frontières.

1 comment:

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