News / Middle East

Yemen Humanitarian Operations Out of Cash

The United Nations Refugee Agency says its humanitarian operations in conflict-ridden northern Yemen have run out of cash.  The UNHCR says it has approved an internal loan of $4.7 million to continue essential programs for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in the country. 

The U.N. refugee agency says the money will subsidize programs until June.  Although the loan will have to be repaid, the agency says it had no other choice.  It says it would have had to scale down or suspend UNHCR'S protection and assistance programs without the immediate injection of much needed cash.

UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says tens of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes during seven months of conflict between the government and Houthi rebels in northern Yemen.  He says the cut-off of crucial aid would have an adverse and irreversible impact on the civilian population.

"A weak donor response this year threatens our operational capacity and protection efforts to register and document some 250,000 IDPs, [Internally Displaced People] to monitor their situation and to address their humanitarian needs-giving special attention to those most vulnerable-namely children, women and elderly.  The funds are also urgently needed to expand the existing, already overpopulated IDP camps at Al Mazrak and to build new ones in the north of the country, to organize and provide shelter materials, namely tents and plastic sheeting as well as to provide basic relief items such as blankets, mattresses, hygienic kits, etc," he said.  

The UNHCR has received only 10 percent of the $39 million appeal it launched some weeks ago.  

The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels agreed on a cease-fire nearly two weeks ago.  Mahecic says displaced Yemeni civilians in Al Mazrak camps in Hajjah province and other governorates are hopeful, but cautious, about the cease-fire holding.

He says the displaced people are eager to go home and individual family members have gone on scouting missions to assess whether it is safe for them to return. "Initial sketchy reports from IDPs confirm considerable difficulties in moving through parts of Saada province, which had been affected by the fighting," he said.  

"Some roads are still blocked and there are unmarked areas still littered with mines and unexploded ordnance.  A report of one casualty of an IDP due to a mine explosion has further strengthened fears among IDPs regarding the safety of return," he added.  

Mines and unexploded ordnance pose a serious risk for returning refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.  The UNHCR says caution must be taken to prevent unnecessary loss of life in Yemen.  

It notes mines and unexploded ordnance must be removed and basic services restored before large-scale returns can take place.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs