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Yemen: ICRC concerned over situation in Dammaj village

02-12-2011 News Release 11/250

Sana'a (ICRC) – Nearly one month has passed since the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been trying to access the isolated village of Dammaj in the northern governorate of Sa'ada. The ICRC has been actively following up the situation in the village, located over eight km southeast of Sa'ada city, to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance.

"We are concerned about the situation in Dammaj", said Eric Marclay, the head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen. "Thousands of people who live in this part of Sa'ada governorate have been denied access to essential commodities, including their daily needs in food and basic medicines, a matter that is taking its toll on the population there, namely the sick, the elderly, women and children", he stressed.

"According to the basic rules of international humanitarian law, persons taking no part in hostilities must at all times be treated humanely, regardless of their race, colour, religion or faith", said Mr. Marclay. "The parties to the conflict must also do whatever is in their power to ensure that medical personnel and material, and humanitarian workers are allowed safe passage to provide assistance ", he added.

In 2010, the ICRC reached the area of Dammaj right after the ceasefire, and was able, for the first time, to distribute food rations to thousands of conflict-affected people there, including to displaced persons. Several distributions followed since then, in Dammaj as well as elsewhere in Sa'ada.

The ICRC has been working in Yemen since 1962. Its activities focus on helping people adversely affected by the conflict in the northern provinces of Sa'ada and Amran, as well as in the southern provinces of Lahj and Abyan, and those affected by the months-long violence in Sana'a and elsewhere. The ICRC endeavours to meet the most urgent needs of the population and to provide humanitarian assistance on an impartial basis.

For further information, please contact:
Rabab Al-Rifaï, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 1 213 844 or +967 711 94 43 43