UNHCR Airlifting Supplies to Assist Returnees in Abyan
- Aden, Yemen التاريخ :
On 30 December, a wide body MD11 airplane carrying 10,000 blankets, 14,800 plastic sheets and 10,000 sleeping mats set down in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen. UNHCR is delivering these relief items as part of a special airlift from Nairobi of assistance for the IDPs that have returned to Abyan Governorate over the last few month—thanks to a special funding from the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). This airlift is providing timely assistance for returnees who are in desperate need of support as they rebuild their lives in their areas of origin.
UNHCR is committed to assisting IDPs wherever they are and has been responding to the IDP crisis in the south of Yemen since it first began in May 2011, providing life-saving assistance, protection monitoring, and counselling services to IDPs.
In July 2012, IDPs started to return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives. Initially, the returns were slow due to the widespread presence of landmines and unexploded ordinances, extensive damage to infrastructure in several areas, and an interest to see evidence of improvements in the security situation. However, through de-mining efforts on the part of the Yemen Government and other improvements in the security situation, more than 100,000 people have returned to their homes.
UNHCR is the lead international humanitarian agency responding to returnees’ need for shelter and domestic items. To date, UNHCR has already distributed non-food items to some 10,000 families and shelter kits to more than 9,000 families in Abyan.
UNHCR has been present on the ground and its staff members have been conducting field visits on a regular basis. UNHCR plans to provide assistance to 30,000 of the most vulnerable returning families through this urgent airlift and with further assistance that will be arriving by sea.
UNHCR Representative in Yemen, Naveed Hussain noted that “UNHCR is supporting IDPs to exercise their right to return home.” The office is monitoring to ensure that return is voluntary, providing IDPs with assistance for return, and is advocating for sustained and comprehensive efforts from the government and international community to ensure the sustainability of return. “The challenge now is to make these returns sustainable through rehabilitation and development work.”
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