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Yemen: Floods

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of people (a) killed and (b) displaced by the recent flooding in Yemen. (233344)

The Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Co-operation has estimated that 184 people lost their lives as a result of the floods in south-eastern Yemen from 23 to 25 October 2008, and that 25,000 people were displaced in Hadramaut Governorate alone. There are currently no figures available for the less-affected areas of Chaboua and Al Mahrah. Overall, however, there is little clarity on the exact numbers of those affected.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what humanitarian assistance his Department has provided to Southern Yemen following the recent flooding in the region; and what steps he plans to take to prevent loss of life. (233345)

At present, there is still little clarity about the exact impact of the flooding in south-eastern Yemen on 23 to 25 October 2008, and about the gaps in humanitarian assistance already provided. Early reports suggest that immediate humanitarian needs are being met by the Government of Yemen, and UN agencies and NGOs are already active on the ground and providing emergency relief. A number of Gulf States have already made substantial contributions, including Saudi Arabia which has pledged $100 million.

A UN rapid humanitarian assessment team is due to report back on relief and recovery needs to the Government of Yemen and the international community on 6 November. At this stage, a decision may be taken on whether to launch an emergency appeal for assistance. DFID is in close contact with partners in Yemen, and stands ready to respond to this appeal if necessary. We are also monitoring other ongoing humanitarian needs in Yemen, including the impact of higher food prices and the conflict in Sa’dah earlier this year.