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Severe Flooding In Yemen Displaces 10,000

UN Rushing Aid To Yemen After Severe Flooding Displaces 10,000

New York, Oct 28 2008 10:10AM

The United Nations has begun providing assistance to Yemenis affected by recent severe flooding, which has killed 180 people and displaced some 10,000 from their homes.

The flooding which followed heavy rains on 24 and 25 October led the Government to declare Hadramout and Al-Mahara governorates in eastern Yemen disaster areas, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which reported that six other areas in the south were also affected.

In addition to those killed and uprooted from their homes, about 2,000 houses have been destroyed and infrastructure, including power lines, roads, water supplies and phone lines, have been seriously damaged.

The international response is being closely coordinated by the Yemeni Government through the governor’s office, other UN agencies, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Urgent needs include food, tents, blankets, utensils, water pumps, mobile health units and electricity generators.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has distributed non-food items to 173 displaced families working out of three different schools.

UNHCR Spokesperson Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva that the agency, which works with refugees and asylum-seekers in Yemen, will continue its efforts to help those Yemenis affected by this natural disaster.

“Such assistance under the circumstances is the least that we can do for the people of Yemen who have in the past been so hospitable to refugees and asylum-seekers making the dangerous journey across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen,” he stated.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently providing medical kits to the affected areas. Each kit is enough for 10,000 people for a period of three months.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) has food stocks available that can be re-routed from their current programmes if required.

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