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News note

UNICEF concerned about deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen

Agency delivers life-saving supplies to populations displaced by conflict

AMMAN / GENEVA, 21 August 2009 – UNICEF expressed concern today about the impact on children and women of the current crisis in Yemen following the escalation of hostilities in the north.  

“It is estimated that over 100,000 persons have been displaced by the latest round of fighting, many of them are children,” said Aboudou Karimou Adjibadé, UNICEF representative in Yemen. “Children often bear the brunt of conflict and it is crucial that we gain immediate access to them to provide them with the assistance they need.”

The current crisis threatens to exacerbate an already difficult situation for children in Yemen. Malnutrition rates are high, with 46 per cent of under-fives underweight and 53 per cent suffering from stunting.

United Nations agencies based in Yemen have just concluded a joint mission to assess the situation. They are working with the government and local organizations to assist affected populations.

Alarmed by the poor hygiene conditions and the lack of safe drinking water, which can lead to the spread of diarrhea, UNICEF has distributed 825 water filters, 1,000 jerry cans, 500 hygiene kits and 300,000 water purification tablets to benefit 550 displaced families in Harad.

Additional supplies have also been pre-positioned for distribution as the need arises.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
Naseem-ur-Rehman, Communication Officer, UNICEF Yemen,
Tel  + 967 711 760 002,
E-mail: nrehman@unicef.org

Najwa Mekki, UNICEF MENA Regional Office,
Tel + 962 79 573 2745,
E-mail: nmekki@unicef.org

Charbel Raji, UNICEF MENA Regional Office,
Tel + 962 79 731 5788,
E-mail: craji@unicef.org

Thomas Davin, Chief, Emergency Preparedness and Response, UNICEF MENA Regional Office, 
Tel + 962 79 53 11 250,
E-mail: tdavin@unicef.org

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York
Tel + 1 212 326 7426;
E-mail: pmccormick@unicef.org




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