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Yemen: new camp opened in Sa'ada for civilians fleeing conflict

26-11-2009 Operational Update

As the conflict in northern Yemen grows in intensity, civilians continue to pay the price. Many have had to flee their homes while many more are trapped in areas rocked by violence. Despite difficult security conditions, the ICRC is maintaining its aid effort.

The Al-Jabbana IDP camp in Sa'ada city was set up recently by the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent. 
Al-Jabbana camp, Sa'ada city. 
A water point in Sa'ada Governorate. 
The ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent distributing relief items in Sa'ada city. 

People living in Sa'ada governorate along the border with Saudi Arabia, west of the Sa'ada city, have been hit particularly hard by fierce fighting. Several thousand people have reportedly also fled Al-Malahit and Razeh, south-west of Sa'ada city, and taken refuge in Al-Mazraq, a UNHCR-run camp in Harad.

The parties to the conflict are required by international humanitarian law to take constant care to spare the civilian population. They must allow unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid and treat anyone detained in connection with the conflict humanely. The ICRC stands ready to visit any such persons and to provide other services in its capacity as a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization.

" The ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent Society are making a determined effort to help displaced people in northern Yemen. At times, however, security conditions make it extremely difficult to reach those in need and deliver aid, " said Irfan Sulejmani, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation for Sa'ada. " Increasing numbers of the displaced and residents are seeking our assistance, and we have just had to open a new camp. "

Al-Jabbana, the new camp set up by the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent in Sa'ada city, will eventually be able to host around 1,000 internally displaced people (IDPs). One hundred tents have so far been erected to accommodate around 420 people and equipped with household essentials. Several water points and 14 temporary latrines have been installed. Al-Jabbana becomes the fifth camp managed by the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent. The others are Al-Ehsa', Al-Talh and Sam in and around Sa'ada city, and Mandab a camp, in Baqem district, which was set up more than a month ago. Altogether, the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent have provided aid of various kinds for around 140,000 people over the past three months.

To respond to the most urgent needs, the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent:

  • began a second round of food distributions today for around 13,300 people at or near Mandaba camp, in the Baqem district of north-western Sa'ada governorate near the border with Saudi Arabia. The food had been delivered to the area by the World Food Programme and handed over to the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent;

  • have provided household items over the past week for 4,200 displaced persons living in Sa'ada city. In the old city, where fighting has been unremitting, the ICRC has completed a distribution of food to more than 6,500 residents;

  • have distributed food to more than 3,800 displaced people in Al-Talh camp, north of Sa'ada city;

  • provided Harad Hospital, in Hajjah governorate, with enough surgical and other medical supplies to treat 50 war-wounded patients;

  • provided a clinic in Wadi Khaiwan, in Amran governorate, with an incinerator and a one-month supply of medicines;

  • are currently assessing health-care facilities in Amran city;


  • provided Al-Joumhoury governmental hospital in Sa'ada city with 14 mattresses, five tents, 100 blankets and dialysis infusion sets.

  For further information, please contact:
  Rabab Al-Rifaï, ICRC Sana'a: tel: +967 1 213 844 or +967 711 94 43 43
  Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva: tel: +41 22 730 25 90 or +41 79 251 9318