Red Cross pleads for Yemen aid
Tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians are trapped by fighting during an army offensive on militants and urgently need help, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said yesterday.
The call came just days after the President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, approved Dhs500 million in aid to buy and distribute food as a matter of urgency to people in need in Yemen.
The Yemeni army is trying to recapture towns in the southern province of Abyan that were seized by Al Qaeda-linked militants last year during a popular uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who formally relinquished power in February.
“We are extremely concerned about the people trapped inside, and about the dire situation in Jaar, Shaqra and in nearby areas where fighting is going on,” said Eric Marclay, the head of the Red Cross delegation in Yemen.
“Our staff were there a few days ago to assess the situation and found serious, urgent needs that, if not met, could lead to the displacement of over 100,000 people. Thousands of people have already fled to safer places.”
Residents are facing food, power and water shortages, while and health-care services are inadequate, the ICRC said.
The Geneva-based Red Cross urged all combatants to grant it immediate access and security guarantees.
About 40 per cent of Yemenis live on less than $2 a day.