This Week in Restoring Family Links: 2/14/17

Sophia Fredericks, Social Engagement Intern, National Headquarters Washington D.C.

12 year old girl in Yemen keeps watch over her younger siblings. Photo credit: UNHCR/Mohammed Hamoud

12 year old girl in Yemen keeps watch over her younger siblings. Photo credit: UNHCR/Mohammed Hamoud

Yemen: The situation in Yemen is worsening as the fighting due to the conflict progresses. There is worry over the safety of civilians as many remained trapped in the cross-fire. Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s director for the Near and Middle East, said “Civilians are at risk of paying an even heavier price as the fighting continues. We call on all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

It is found that the fighting has significantly worsened in areas such as Al Mokha, Hodeida, Taiz and Dhubab and families are finding it difficult to get away. There are calls from the ICRC for  those who are hurt to receive immediate medical attention as well as the protection of those trapped and wishing to stay, to remain safe under international humanitarian law. Those who wish to leave should be able to do so freely.

Other conditions remain poor in Yemen such as the increasing risk of food insecurity as the conflict worsens. As many as 12 million are currently at risk of famine. The UN is attempting to aid the situation by providing 2.1 billion to be used for aid and food since within three months as many as three million more people are now found to be food insecure. This is the largest humanitarian response ever provided in Yemen.

Papua New Guinea: There is currently ongoing tribal fighting in Papua New Guinea’s Enga Province. This had led to the ICRC distributing aid there for the first time in history. Tribal fighting is nothing new for the culture in Papua New Guinea, however, increased access to modern weapons is increasing its dangers to communities and making it more deadly. The villages Kepelam and Landelam received relief items.

Photo Credit: ICRC/James Daniel Waites

Photo Credit: ICRC/James Daniel Waites

One of the worst tribal fights that was found to have taken place was in Pilikambi where as many as 500 homes were burned and 20 people died. This occurred as a result of fighting between the Sakir and Talyul clan with the Andati clan being affected as well.

With the help of the ICRC and the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society, kits containing tools for house rebuilding, items for the kitchen and shelter kits were given out. Aid was distributed to 527 households in the form of 757 relief kits. Dan Waites, a spokesman of the Red Cross said “They told us it was the first time they’d received that kind of assistance in that area. People said these tools are going to be a great help for them in the coming months as they rebuild their homes.”