Refugee camps in Yemen overwhelmed

Nov. 24, 2009 at 7:14 PM
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SANAA, Yemen, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Lingering conflict between government forces and al-Houthi rebels in Yemen is straining U.N. efforts to provide relief to the internally displaced community.

The United Nations and its international relief partners in Yemen continue to struggle to deliver aid to members of the displaced community trapped by conflict in the northern provinces.

The U.N. refugee agency said at least one of its refugee camps exceeded its capacity as close to 100,000 displaced persons flee the violence.

At least 175,000 Yemenis have been affected in one way or another by the conflict in Yemen, which began to simmer in 2004.

The Yemeni government launched a scorched earth campaign in August against the Shiite rebel group. Escalations along the border with Saudi Arabia prompted Riyadh to join the fight against the rebels, while Iran faces accusations of supporting the Shiite insurgency.

International relief groups have raised repeated alarms over the potential humanitarian disaster that members of the displaced community in Yemen face.

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