UNICEF delivers essential supplies for children and families hit by floods in Hadhramout in Yemen

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SANA'A, YEMEN, 2 November 2008 - A UNICEF convoy carrying essential supplies has left Sana'a to deliver assistance to children and families devastated by flash floods in the Hadhramout Governorate of Yemen. Torrential rains culminating in flood water washed away scores of villages in the valley, forcing people from their homes. UN agencies started their joint relief operation with the Government of Yemen in the first 72 hours, and commissioned a rapid assessment to gauge the needs of the affected population.

In its aftermath, the floods have left 98 people dead and thousands displaced. Over 22,000 internally displaced persons have taken shelter in 65 schools. Around 3,264 households have been destroyed. Various sites are not yet accessible by road, and precise information on the emergency situation is lacking. Wadi Doan, Tarim and Sah in central Yemen are among the worst hit areas.

Children and women face a high risk of water borne diseases and exposure to the ravages of harsh winter weather. The initial assessment shows an urgent need for essential items such as safe drinking water, blankets, hygiene items and soap, food, and non-food items. UNICEF's life-saving supplies include water purification tablets, jerry cans for storing drinking waters, blankets, soap and daily items to help families survive in a time of severe distress.

"The size and complexity of the natural disaster, which caught local populations unprepared, is beyond the capacity of the government and civil society to handle," UNICEF Representative in Yemen Aboudou Karimou Adjibade remarked on the eve of the departure of UNICEF convoy of supplies.

UNICEF is airlifting another bulk supply of water purification tablets from its Copenhagen Office to ensure the threat of water borne diseases is averted. "UNICEF's major concern is to save children, who due to the elevated incidence of malnutrition are highly vulnerable to water-borne diseases in the aftermath of the floods. The supplies sent to Hadhramout include jerry cans, storage tanks for drinking water and essential hygiene items that children and families need in conditions of overcrowding in the temporary shelters," said Mr. Adjibade.

It is important for the initial supplies to get to the families during the first week of the crisis. More aid is on the way to help Governorate authorities render water schemes and schools functional as soon as possible. A UNICEF team of professionals has been dispatched to Hadhramout Government and is working closely with local authorities to make sure that the priority needs of children and women are addressed effectively.

A UNICEF package of life-saving supplies includes water purification tablets, water containers, storage tanks, blankets, soap and hygiene kits for families and children.


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:
Nasseem-Ur-Rehman, UNICEF Yemen, Tel: +967-1-211400, ext. 138,