Four-year-old girl killed in devastating fire at Yemen refugee camp

Four-year-old girl killed in devastating fire at Yemen refugee camp
A devastating fire at a camp for internally displaced persons killed a four-year-old child, according to local reports.
2 min read
18 March, 2020
Millions of Yemenis have been internally displaced because of the war [Getty]
A four-year-old girl was killed in a fire that broke out at a refugee camp in Yemen’s Hodeida on Thursday, according to local reports.

Khatemah Mastoor died at the Al-Alili camp, east of Al-Khokha district in southern Hodeida, Almasdar Online reported, citing aid workers.

Four others were injured in the fire that also destroyed vital equipment, including 14 tents and relief supplies.

Al-Alili camp houses some 200 families that have been displaced by Yemen's ongoing brutal conflict. In July 2019, the camp was targeted by heavy Houthi shelling.

Read also: Yemen in Focus: Financial reports expose millions of dollars in lavish UN 'corruption' budget

Yemen has over 3 million displaced people and over a third of the population needs humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.

Meanwhile, financial reports that surfaced online exposed the United Nation's increasing budget for its Yemen office, where more than 22 million people are on the brink of famine.

The documents, first posted on Twitter by Yemeni activist and director of Peace Track Initiative, Rasha Jarhum, reveal millions of dollars in UN budgets across Yemen, including a $17 million 2019 budget for the office of UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths (OSESGY) as well as $56 million for the UN Mission for Implementing Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA).

In Hodeida, UNMHA spent between $2.4 to 4.6 million per month to cover the costs of the mission, including the 138 personnel employed. A 2020 forecast shows plans to increase the number of employees to 159. 

Most shockingly, a total of $3.8 million was spent by the UNMHA to rent a hotel for 2019 in Yemen's Hodeida city, as part of a total $56 million budget that is expected to decrease by $3 million in 2020.

The revelations sparked outrage on the social media platform, which raised questions on the investments made in Yemen, where millions face poverty and starvation as the brutal conflict continues for a fifth year.

Yemen's internationally-recognised government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, has been battling the Houthi rebels since 2014 after they captured the capital Sanaa and swathes of the impoverished Arab nation.

The conflict has killed more than 100,000 people, prompting the UN to describe the deteriorating situation in the country as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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