UN still concerned over access to civilians displaced by Yemen conflict

23 November 2009
A group of forcibly displaced people in north Yemen.

United Nations agencies and their partners are continuing to assist civilians uprooted by fighting in northern Yemen, but warned today that access to internally displaced persons (IDPs) that are not staying in camps is still a concern.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also voiced concern about access to a large number of civilians who remain trapped in parts of Al-Jawf, Amran and Sa’ada governorates.

An estimated 175,000 people have been affected by the conflict in Yemen since 2004, including those displaced by the latest surge in fighting between Government forces and Al Houthi rebels.

As of 14 November, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners in Yemen had distributed 2,065 metric tons of food to more than 100,000 beneficiaries. The November food distribution cycle will be completed in all districts prior to the Eid holidays later this week.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that the distribution of non-food items through its partners has benefited more than 5,000 families in three governorates in northern Yemen.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for its part, has provided four additional water tanks in the new blocks of the Al-Mazrak camp in the Hajjah governorate, and four outside the camp, while work to improve water distribution, disinfection and quality monitoring in the camp is ongoing.

In addition, UNICEF and the non-governmental organization (NGO) Oxfam have constructed 900 latrines in the Al-Mazrak camp.

UNHCR has warned that the Al-Mazrak camp has exceeded its capacity with nearly 10,000 IDPs living there. The agency has expressed its readiness to work with the authorities in speeding up the construction of Al Mazrak II camp, which will be able to house up to 1,000 families.


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