• Send page
  • Print page

Yemen: the ICRC faces increasing challenges in providing vital aid

28-09-2009 Interview

The welfare of civilians in northern Yemen is becoming a greater concern amid continuing conflict. According to Jean-Nicolas Marti, ICRC head of delegation in Yemen, the organization has worked for weeks under extremely harsh conditions, with severely restricted access to people in need.

   
©ICRC/Salah-ud-Din    
 
18 September 2009. Yemeni Red Crescent volunteers distribute essential household items to displaced people in Khaiwan Medina.    
      
   
   
 
Jean-Nicolas Marti    
     What is the current situation in Sa'ada governorate?  

As the conflict continues, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of the civilian population. Since the renewed outbreak of armed confrontations on 12 August, the humanitarian situation in the governorate of Sa'ada and parts of Amran has drastically deteriorated, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee areas of fighting, some of them for the second time.

 How does the deteriorating security situation affect the provision of vital aid?  

    

Our staff have been working extremely hard under very harsh conditions, as have Yemeni Red Crescent staff. ICRC delegates working in Sa'ada governorate have often been confined to Sa'ada city and have had very limited direct access to those affected by the fighting. However, until now they have managed, in cooperation with the Yemen Red Crescent Society, to register and provide essential aid for more than 30,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), including people hosted in three camps in and near Sa'ada city.

 What's the situation of your staff in Sa'ada?  

    

Deteriorating security conditions have forced us to temporarily relocate our foreign staff, who are exhausted after having spent weeks in the conflict zone. They will return to Sa'ada as soon as possible. Meanwhile, if security conditions allow us to do so, we will continue to provide vital aid in the governorate through our national staff in cooperation with the Yemen Red Crescent Society.