Food aid to Yemen set to fully resume after two-month break
Lifesaving food distribution is set to resume to 850,000 people in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, following guarantees by Houthi opposition forces that aid will reach those that need it most.
The move, announced on Friday by the World Food Programme (or WFP), brings to an end a two-month break in assistance after the agency said that humanitarians were being denied access and local authorities were interfering with deliveries.
WFP food aid will resume to Houthi-held areas after the Eid Al Adha festival next Monday, spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel told journalists in Geneva:
“We have written guarantees from the Houthis. The Houthis have been engaging with us in the last few weeks to negotiate the document that we have signed together and more importantly to also to agree on the technical terms that we have signed yesterday with them. We have every reason to believe that the Houthis are there for the good of their people and will of course help us to implement that agreement. Obviously we will review the situation if we see that it’s not the case.”
Under the terms of the deal, WFP will use a smartcard system to register nine million people in areas controlled by the Houthis, although aid will be delivered to those whose details have not yet been recorded.
More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees get ID cards for first time
More than half a million Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar have received identification cards in Bangladesh that the UN insisted on Friday were critical to safeguarding their right to return home.
Issued to all refugees over the age of 12 in camps in southern Bangladesh, the biometric card is for many, the first time that they have owned an official document that proves their identity.
Here’s UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson, Andrej Mahecic.
“The point here is first and foremost to protect and safeguard the right of these people to return to the places they came from…These cards are basically their registration. They regulate their stay in Bangladesh. People will need to have obviously a pathway to citizenship, and a different set of identification if and when they return.”
An estimated 900,000 Rohingya refugees live in crowded settlements in Cox’s Bazar, according to UNHCR, which is working with the Bangladeshi authorities to complete the operation.
More than 740,000 of those in camps fled from neighbouring Myanmar in the last two years amid State-led violence described by the UN as ethnic cleansing.
Malians fleeing violence should be given international protection, says UN
And staying with UNHCR, it also announced on Friday that because of the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Mali , neighbouring countries should provide protection to those fleeing conflict.
Not all Malians need protection, the agency said, but the threat has spread from northern Mali to other regions.
It cited armed groups affiliated with Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad and others that have failed to respect the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation in Mali agreement.
The conflict has been further escalated by Islamist extremist groups.
According to UNHCR, civilians, politicians and civil servants along with security forces are being targeted and murdered.
Nearly 200 peacekeepers have been killed since 2013, making it the deadliest peacekeeping operation in the world.
And people who collaborate with national or international defence forces subsequently find themselves targeted for attack and may be in need of international protection, the agency said.
Daniel Johnson, UN News