WFP reaches close to one hundred thousand people in Yemen

Published November 9th, 2009 - 01:08 GMT

SAna’a –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners havereached  almost  100,000  displaced  Yemenis  with  food assistance in fournorthern  governorates  since  August  when a new round of fighting eruptedbetween government troops and rebel forces.

In the wake of recent clashes in the border area with Saudi Arabia, WFP is
monitoring the situation to determine if more people start to flee the
area, and to what extent its supply route through the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia into northern Sa’ada could be affected.

WFP is currently reaching internally displaced people in Amran, Al Jawf,
Hajjah, and Sa’ada governorates. This marks a significant increase from the
early weeks of the crisis when it was only able to reach 10,000 people in
two governorates.

In spite of better access to some areas affected by the fighting, the
situation remains volatile and supply routes are unreliable. The situation
is particularly dramatic in Sa'ada town where access has been extremely
difficult for the past three months.

“Our biggest concern is that we might be unable to re-supply stocks in
Sa’ada town, which could result in widespread suffering,” said Gian Carlo
Cirri, WFP Representative in Yemen. “WFP is calling for the establishment
of reliable humanitarian corridors to guarantee safe and continued passage
for relief convoys."

WFP  has  delivered  commodities  through a cross-border operation from the
Kingdom  of  Saudi  Arabia  to  assist  some 10,000 displaced people in the
northern  border  area  of  Mandaba,  five  kilometres  inside  Yemen.  The
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Yemeni Red Crescent
Society (YRCS) began distribution in the area last week.

The influx of people to Mandaba has increased during the past month, with
up to 200 people arriving daily, fleeing an escalation of fighting in the
Al Baqim area. A recent UN assessment mission to the area revealed that
food prices have doubled since the conflict began and is out of reach for
many families. Other urgent needs include blankets, cooking utensils,
medicine, and water sanitation facilities.

The major supply route through Al Jawf governorate, which reaches more than
55,000 internally displaced people in and around Sa’ada town, had been
blocked for nearly three weeks before it re-opened on 31 October. WFP
dispatched two food convoys through the newly opened route and is also
looking at alternative routes to ensure uninterrupted access to people
affected by the conflict.

WFP’s partners, Islamic Relief in Sa’ada town and the Adventist Relief and
Development Agency (ADRA) in Al Jawf, are working in extremely difficult
conditions to provide life-saving food assistance.


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