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UN warns that aid operations in northern Yemen remain drastically under-funded

UN warns that aid operations in northern Yemen remain drastically under-funded

UN staff assist forcibly displaced people at a tented settlement in northern Yemen in 2009
The United Nations is expressing concern about the humanitarian situation in northern Yemen, where the needs of the local population displaced by ongoing fighting vastly outstrip the funds provided so far by donors.

Less than $70 million, or 36 per cent, of the $187 million sought this year by aid agencies for assistance in Yemen has been received, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been providing relief to civilians in Yemen’s north, where Government forces have engaged rebels in sporadic armed conflict in recent years.

As many as 340,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living in the five conflict-affected governorates of Hajjah, Amran, Sa’ada, Al-Jawf and Sana’a, with most staying with host communities.

Health care is a major concern, with acute malnutrition, diarrhoea and anaemia all reported to be on the rise among both IDPs and local residents, particularly in Hajjah. Food aid, water and sanitation are also priorities.

Since a ceasefire was struck in February, aid workers have increased their efforts to reach areas hit by the conflict, especially Sa’ada City and Malaheet, where residents, returnees and IDPs need assistance.

OCHA said the security situation remains volatile, which is hampering aid workers’ attempts to help locals.

An IDP profiling exercise is being carried out to help aid agencies target their assistance better across the region. That exercise is expected to be completed by mid-August.