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Yemen in dire need of aid despite stability

Foreign aid has only reached small portion of the needy, Red Crescent official says

A doctor checks a three-month old severely malnourished child in Yemen
Image Credit: EPA
A doctor checks a three-month old severely malnourished child at a therapeutic feeding center in Sana'a, Yemen.
01 Gulf News

Sana’a: Yemen is still in desperate need of aid despite months of political stability and a rush of relief campaigns, aid agencies warned.

Since May this year, many foreign countries and aid organisations have sent humanitarian aid to the poverty-stricken country, but this aid only reached a small numbers of the country’s needy people.

Foad Al Makhithi, secretary-general of Yemen Red Crescent, seems to be pessimistic about the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

”The foreign aid has only reached a small portion of the needy and many others are in need of help. The root causes of the problem still exist in the country. There are soaring food prices with low salaries,” Al Makhithi said.

“We appeal for more humanitarian aid from the government and the international relief organisations,” Khalfan Al Kindi, director of the UAE Red Crescent office in Yemen, told Gulf News, adding that aid from the UAE has played a part in alleviating the distress of many Yemen families.

Since the beginning of the nation-wide aid campaign in the UAE on June 29,the UAE Red Crescent has distributed 56.000 food parcels for 280.000 poor people in many provinces in Yemen, he said.

“Despite reaching thousands of poor families in Yemen, I do think that the country is hungry for more aid. Many families who we visited still live in harsh conditions. Many families are suffering from disease andhave no money to treat themselves.”

The Unicef office in Yemen said that it has treated over 50,000 severely malnourished children through its mobile clinics in the north.

“But the clinics are facing closure due to funding shortages. If given more funding, the agency could provide more life-saving assistance.” the office said in a short statement.

While political forces in Yemen were fighting for power in 2011, millions of Yemenis were left in the lurch which prompted the UN and many international and national aid organisations to raise the alarm over the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Following the nomination of the first new president on February, the country’s political rivals shared power in the cabinet and the country enjoyed political stability but this didn’t reflect on the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Thousands of Yemenis who fled fighting between government forces and Al Qaida militants are reluctant to return home and leave their makeshift homes in Aden and other provinces. Many fear that the unexploded bombs and mines remain a threat to their lives.

According to the UNHCR office in Yemen ,there are 170,000 Internally Displaced Persons from Abyan in southern Yemen, in addition to 314,000 in the north. The continuous influx of African refugees has also exacerbated the problem.

Fleeing drought, instability and conflicts at home, more than 103,000 refugees arrived on Yemeni shores in 2011. Another 51,000 have come to Yemen since January 2012.



Latest Comment

It is really heart breaking to see a country such as Yemen with rich Arabian history and culture go through such terrible circumstances. But with the help from the UAE and other supporting countries hopefully the situation will be resolved soon.


4 September 2012 15:10jump to comments