Aid group concerns mount over Yemen

Oct. 23, 2009 at 1:48 PM
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SANAA, Yemen, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Tens of thousands of people are trapped in conflict zones in north Yemen despite efforts by the Red Cross and Yemen Red Crescent to deliver assistance.

The Yemeni government launched a scorched earth campaign in August against al-Houthi rebels operating in the northern provinces. The United Nations and international relief groups warned the conflict is creating humanitarian disaster for the displaced community.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Yemen Red Crescent reached more than 100,000 people since conflict escalated in August, but warned tens of thousands remain at risk as winter approaches.

The relief organizations said they managed to bring drinking water, food rations, blankets and other items to those affected by the conflict.

"Tens of thousands of people remain out of reach, however, because of intense fighting and poor security," said Jean-Nicolas Marti, the ICRC's head of delegation in Yemen. "Unless more is done to protect civilians and enable them to receive life-saving aid, the situation will worsen further."

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