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Action Against Hunger delivers 116 tonnes of aid to Yemen families amid heightened calls for safe access and supplies
London, 10 April 2015 // Action Against Hunger has delivered much-needed aid – including safe water, food rations and medical supplies – to families displaced by violence in Yemen but insecurity and fuel shortages continue to hamper humanitarian efforts.
A fortnight after coalition air strikes on Yemen began; delivering humanitarian aid to the conflict-affected population continues to be a struggle amid violence, bombings, the closure of airports and ports, and fuel shortages.
“We urgently need food and fuel," said Hajir Maalim, country director for Action Against Hunger in Yemen. “Even before the conflict began, nearly half of the Yemen population was affected by chronic food insecurity
“The lack of fuel has had a direct impact on our programmes and limits the movement and activity of our teams. It’s also had an impact on the safety of humanitarian workers and the supply of food, drinking water and electricity to an already vulnerable population.”
Since 19 March, 643 people have been killed and 2,226 wounded in the Yemen conflict, according to the World Health Organisation. The fighting has led tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, particularly in the south and Sana’a.
Despite the many challenges, our teams in the north of Yemen– Hodeida and Hajjah – have so far managed to keep our life-saving programmes running. They have distributed 71 tonnes of therapeutic food to treat dangerously malnourished children there. They’ve also begun monthly food rations to families in an attempt to ensure these children continue to make progress should security deteriorate further. And in Hajjah, 600 displaced families have received nutritional support, health care, water and emergency kits in a bid to ease their living conditions.
Action Against Hunger, which has 100 staff still in Yemen, will also be distributing medical supplies in Hodeida as well as conflict-affected Aden, where another 36 tonnes of therapeutic nutritional products are on their way.
Meanwhile, our teams in Djibouti are preparing for an influx of refugees as security in Yemen worsens. As of 8 April, there were 238 Yemen refugees sheltering in the city of Obock, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Some Action Against Hunger staff have also evacuated to there.
“Developing a system for the regular and large-scale delivery of essential goods – particularly food and fuel – is urgently needed,” said Maalim. “These things must be distributed quickly across the country to avoid a major humanitarian crisis.”
We reiterate our urgent call on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law, which protects civilians and humanitarian workers, allowing them to access civilians in distress.
Spokespeople available on request.