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Yemen: over 100,000 people displaced

20 April 2015

The conflict in Yemen is escalating and the situation for civilians in the country is becoming increasingly acute. So far, over 640 people have been killed and over 2,200 injured in the ongoing fighting. A few weeks into the conflict, 121,000 people have already been displaced.

In the city of Hajjah in western Yemen, tens of thousands of people have left their homes due to the ongoing fighting. Many of them were living in very basic conditions in temporary camps as a result of previous conflicts. Now they are forced to flee again. These people and many more are now in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Even before the latest conflict broke out, 16 million Yemenis, over 60% of the population, were already in need of humanitarian assistance.

"The armed violence must end immediately and all land, sea and air routes must be opened up for the transportation of food, fuel, medical supplies and other basic necessities," said Grace Ommer, Oxfam's country director in Yemen.

Yemen imports virtually all its food and fuel. Now that the borders are closed, no supplies are getting through. What is already in the country is running out.

"Many people have been without electricity and clean water for days and the supply of food and fuel is steadily decreasing. In many places, it is impossible for aid to reach the people, so the international community must step in and put pressure on the warring parties to end the violence immediately. If nothing is done, the situation will turn into a humanitarian disaster," says Ommer.
An Oxfam staff member in Yemen describes the situation inside the country as catastrophic.

"Even if we survive the bombs, the food is almost gone. Out on the streets, long lines of cars wait for gasoline from gas stations. A serious food and fuel crisis is developing in a country where a large part of the population is already living below the poverty line."

Ommer, Oxfam worker in Yemen

Oxfam is currently working to deliver clean water to families in vulnerable areas. The aim is to reach 80,000 people in the coming weeks and one million people in total once access improves. Oxfam also calls on the international community to promote an immediate ceasefire and ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in need.