Yemen

Yemen: Over 10,000 displaced by floods

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This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 27 October 2008, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR is deeply concerned by the plight of more than 10,000 Yemeni citizens displaced by severe flooding following torrential rain in the provinces of Hadramout, Al Mahra and other areas.

So far, according to the Yemen Ministry of Health yesterday, some 180 lives have been lost and estimated 2,000 homes destroyed, but these figures cannot be confirmed as several areas remain inaccessible. UNHCR and its partners in the region have dispatched teams to Mukalla to provide emergency assistance and carry out a rapid assessment for further assistance.

As of Monday evening, UNHCR had already sent 11 trucks to the affected area carrying non-food items to 3,500 people -- mattresses, blankets, jerry cans, and mosquito nets. Additional tents, plastic sheets, and plastic rolls arrived in Seiyoun this morning on a UNHCR-chartered transport plane from Dubai. Yesterday, the UNHCR team was able to distribute non-food items to 173 displaced families working out of three different schools.

The international response is being closely coordinated by the Yemeni government through the governor's office, other UN agencies, and non-governmental organisations.

UNHCR, 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.