A Forgotten Conflict

Fierce fighting in Yemen between government forces and rebel groups have left over 150,000 people displaced in their own country.

This adds to the number of displaced that have been forced to flee their homes and livelihoods due to the conflict that has been ongoing over the past five years.

Those who have been already displaced by the fighting have been forced to move again due to the recent escalation in the conflict, and many have been forced to live under bridges or on the roadside.

As the conflict spreads, mines, heavy fighting and airstrikes are hindering the safe passage of people as they flee, and they are forced to remain in situations of intense insecurity. The majority of those fleeing are women and children, often forced to travel several days across desert, without food or water.

There is a desperate need for greater humanitarian assistance as access to shelter, food and water is scarce and unreliable for the displaced.

The work of UN agencies such as UNHCR who have been setting up camps has also been threatened by the lack of security in the area. Following the murders of three foreign aid workers in July, the work of many aid agencies has been compromised. A lack of funding has further limited the response of aid agencies in the area, despite promises of increased aid from the UN.

There are fears that instability in the region may spiral out of control, with an increased threat from Al Qaeda in the north and the growing insurrection of rebel groups.

However, the immediate concern is that of the wellbeing of the thousands of displaced persons in the region, desperate for food aid, and needing urgent access to a clean and reliable water supply in the arid conditions. Malnutrition rates are rising rapidly, and the World Food Programme has already had to cut assistance to the area due to funding constraints.

But when was the last time a story like this made front-page news?

Source: http://www.alertnet.org/db/crisisprofiles/YE_CLA.htm

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Helen,

    Thanks so much for posting about these atrocities. It’s incredible that in our hyper-communicative world that we don’t hear about this.

    Even worse, I find it difficult to feel sufficiently impacted upon hearing it. I feel helpless perhaps- detached, and overwhelmed by the numbers and details of suffering. I want personal details, stories and names to force the figures to turn into tears, to change my mind and heart and help me feel what they feel. I want to understand how this comes about in the first place, what people are trying to do to stop it, and if there is any way that I can make a difference- I want to see hope and light in the darkness.

    Do you know of anybody in these areas that you could contact to get more information?


  2. The International Red Cross – http://www.icrc.org/, Refugees International – http://www.refugeesinternational.org/ and UNHCR – http://www.unhcr.org.uk/ are all agencies working in Yemen dealing with the consequences of the conflict. Their websites will give you a better idea of what is going on in the region, and even have some details for contacting people if you would like to hear some more personal stories.
    I hope that helps – let me know what you find out!

  3. […] at 5:18 pm (Front Page News?) (Al Qaeda, Internally Displaced People, terrorism, Yemen) Back in September I wrote about the situation in Yemen, focusing on the plight of the hundreds and thousands of […]

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