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Registration of people displaced by conflict in northern Yemen continues - UN

23 October 2009 – The United Nations refugee agency says that displaced families from embattled Sa’ada province in northern Yemen are continuing to arrive in Al Mazrak camp, which now houses an estimated 8,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

An average of 10 to 15 new families arrive at Al Mazrak camp every day, with another 11,000 IDPs being sheltered by host families and communities in the area, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Some 150,000 people have been driven from their homes by sporadic fighting between Government forces and Al Houthi rebels that resumed in mid-August.

The registration and verification of IDPs is ongoing, with a total of 71,225 people registered so far. Many more IDPs are believed to be unreachable in conflict areas.

The security situation surrounding the IDP camp in Khaiwan in Amran governorate remains of serious concern to UNHCR. After a number of incidents, the agency has requested the Yemeni Government to reconsider further development of the site and not to move the newly displaced persons there.

The UN is also working with Saudi authorities to find appropriate solution for those crossing the border into Saudi Arabia fleeing the conflict in Sa’ada.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the UN continues to appeal to the parties in the conflict to allow access for assistance to reach those in need.

Since July, nearly 41,630 people in northern Yemen have received food aid. OCHA added that insecurity is preventing road convoys to Sa’ada via Al-Jawf governorate. Five trucks containing food and seven containing non-food items have been held up between the two governorates due to obstructions.

Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has delivered emergency supplies for safe child delivery, emergency obstetric care interventions, contraceptives and medicines to treat victims of sexual violence and to prevent sexually transmitted diseases to its partners on the ground in Hajjah and Amran governorates for further distribution.

A $23.7 million flash appeal issued in early September to provide life-saving support in northern Yemen is so far 36 per cent funded. OCHA reported that a review is under way of the humanitarian needs on the basis of recent rapid needs assessments and adjustments will be made to the appeal in the coming days.

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