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Yemen: ICRC scales up aid in response to increasing needs in the north

14-05-2008 News Release 08/73

Geneva / Sanaa (ICRC) – Renewed fighting in northern Yemen’s Sa’ada Governorate has resulted in a further deterioration in living conditions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today.

The ICRC has asked donors for an additional 8.5 million Swiss francs for its Yemen budget to respond to the increasing needs caused by the fighting. The increase more than doubles the original 2008 budget for operations in Yemen, bringing it to 14 million Swiss francs.

" As a result of the latest confrontations in the north of the country, thousands of civilians are currently fleeing their homes to seek refuge where they can be assisted and cared for, " says Marcus Dolder, the ICRC's head of delegation in Yemen. " Our teams are working closely with the Yemen Red Crescent Society to provide these people with shelter and emergency assistance " .

The ICRC is concerned about the security and living conditions of civilians affected by the fighting and appeals to all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law. In particular, it urges them to distinguish at all times between civilians and people taking a direct part in hostilities, and to treat all casualties with humanity.

" The region has not yet recovered from four years of conflict. Even before the most recent fighting, more than 100,000 people had been directly affected, urgently requiring humanitarian aid, " says Marcus Dolder. " These people have also been hit hard by the steep increase in food prices over recent months. "

The ICRC plans to use the additional funds to step up the provision of food, water, shelter, essential household items and medical support in all areas of Sa'ada Governorate. It is also ready to provide life-saving surgical treatment for the wounded where required.

Over the past 14 months, ICRC staff have worked with the local branch of the Yemen Red Crescent Society to distribute emergency aid to almost 120,000 people, and have facilitated access to clean drinking water for thousands of others.

 
For further information, please contact:
  Eman Moanqar, ICRC Sanaa, tel: +967 711 94 43 43 or +967 1 46 78 73
  Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 251 93 18 or +41 22 730 25 90


  For further information: Yemen: ICRC activities September 2007 to March 2008