The United Nations has expressed deep concern over surging violence across Yemen, warning that the worsening situation has pushed some 85,000 people from their homes over the past 10 weeks.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Friday that more than 70 percent of those displaced since December 1 last year had escaped clashes in Yemen’s western coastal provinces of Hudaydah and Ta’izz.
The UN refugee agency also cautioned against the dire condition of displaced people, who are caught in areas close to hostilities in the two provinces.
“Most of those displaced in the governorates of Hudaydah and Ta’izz remain hosted by relatives or friends, trapped inside homes or in caves as ground clashes, aerial bombardment and sniper fire rage around them,” UNHCR spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters in the Swiss city of Geneva.
She noted that the UN is witnessing an upsurge in new displacements from other parts of Yemen, including the northern provinces of al-Jawf and Hajjah, as well as the oil-rich eastern province of Shabwa.
“The main needs of the displaced and other conflict-affected populations continue to be access to shelter, health, food and water and sanitation,” Pouilly said.
She warned that Yemen is “seeing a spike in needs, fueled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing economy and diminishing social services and livelihoods.”
Last month, the UN appealed for nearly $3 billion (2.45 billion euros) to combat imminent famine as well as cholera and diphtheria outbreaks in Yemen this year.