UN warns of escalating crisis in northern Yemen
The United Nations warned on Tuesday of an escalating crisis in northern Yemen between the government and Shiite rebels that has driven at least 119,000 people from their homes.
“The escalation of fighting between Al-Huthi rebels and the government forces in northern Yemen over the past few days is worsening what is already a dire and complex humanitarian emergency,” Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the UN, told reporters.
The Al-Huthi rebels reject the ruling government and want to restore the Zaidi imamate that was overthrown in a 1962 coup.
Elizabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the UN welcomed an announcement from the Yemeni government that it would consider establishing humanitarian corridors for aid distribution. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it was especially worried about Saada city, which has had no water or electricity since August 10.
It also announced that a new refugee camp with the capacity to hold up to 500 families, or 3,500 people, is currently under construction near Hajja, about 130 kilometers (80 meters) southwest of Saada city.
The UN has already allocated $1.2 million in assistance for displaced people in northern Yemen. Presently, the organization is appealing to raise additional funds.