Sana’a. - The International Committee of the Red Cross has today started a distribution of food across the front lines in the southern city of Aden. The consignment of more than 160 tons will cover the emergency needs of 17,500 people. Around half of Aden’s population are displaced from their homes, seeking shelter in any available space in the town.
"Aden residents have been living under extreme duress for three months," said Robert Zimmerman, who heads the ICRC Sub-Delegation in Aden. "Wherever you live in Aden, food is in very short supply. It is essential for us to distribute this emergency aid impartially, across frontlines, and in agreement with all parties."
The price of food has sky-rocketed due to the fighting and hindrances put in place by the warring parties for goods to reach Aden. Most stores are closed or have only few goods to sell. Furthermore, people often cannot move to get what is available on the market due to intense fighting. Therefore, a majority of the city’s over-a-million population relies on timely humanitarian aid.
Distributions have been completed in those parts of Aden, where the population has been living under particularly harsh conditions for months. They will continue in the coming days in neighborhoods under the control of the various parties, including in some where large numbers of displaced families have found refuge.
The food was part of a seven-truck convoy that reached Aden on 30 June, also carrying hygiene kits for the population to help prevent the spreading of diseases.
"The food parcels distributed these days will not, by far, respond to all the needs. We want to address more of the populations’ immediate needs and need all parties to allow us to do so. Parties must meet their obligations under international humanitarian law and ensure that civilians can safely access clean water, food and healthcare, " said Mr. Zimmerman. "In today’s environment, providing something as basic as food remains a significant challenge, but we will continue to coordinate with all armed groups present in Aden to ensure that emergency aid is delivered impartially to those who need it."
Over the past weeks, the ICRC delivered high-energy food for infants and pregnant and lactating mothers, hygiene kits to prevent the spreading of diseases, and essential household items to the displaced families.