In brief [Archives:2008/1135/Local News]

March 6 2008


– UNHCR, deputy governor discuss aid to displaced residents in Sa'ada

Sa'ada Deputy Governor Salem Al-Wahishi and an officer from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, have discussed the situation at Sa'ada's refugee camps and their need for humanitarian aid following the end of the rebellion in some parts of the governorate.

The meeting dealt with UNHCR projects in Sa'ada, particularly those regarding lighting the camps and providing electric motors to cover residents' needs.

While Al-Wahishi highlighted the U.N. organization's efforts toward the governorate's affected areas, affirming the easing of the commission's duties in providing aid to displaced citizens, the U.N. official affirmed that his agency is working to increase humanitarian aid to the camps.

– Educational, psychological program for Sa'ada children

The Sa'ada Women's Charitable Association and UNICEF have organized an educational and psychological program for the children of Sa'ada families fleeing confrontations between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels.

The 24-day program aims to build the skills of Sa'ada children and re-qualify them both educationally and psychologically in order to eradicate the consequences resulting from the rebellion in the northern governorate.


– Popular census training for politicians

Forty members from the General People's Congress and the Joint Meeting Parties have concluded the first phase of training on how to conduct a popular census.

Organized by the Yemeni Polling Center and funded by the National Democratic Institute and USAID, the training is the second of its kind by the center and seeks to qualify trainees to plan a survey, design questionnaires and select a sampling. It also includes survey techniques in data collection and interviewing.

The second phase, to be carried out at the end of this month, will deal with reading data and creating analysis tables, evaluations and conclusions.

– Food charity campaign

The Charitable Society for Social Welfare is conducting a campaign to encourage wealthy families to donate food expenses to poor families. Ending in middle of this month, the campaign seeks to help hundreds of poor Yemeni families by providing them food supplies through charity.

This is only part of a larger program to eradicate poverty due to the increased food prices and living expenses across the Yemeni republic. The campaign also is sponsoring lectures and awareness sessions at several Sana'a mosques in an effort to motivate citizens to help.


– Request for extension to save Zabid

Efforts are underway to restore the historical city of Zabid and save it from ruin and hence, from being dropped from UNESCO's World Heritage list.

Following a February 2007 examination, Yemen was given two years to restore and protect the city. However, in a forthcoming report, the public authority to preserve Yemen's historical cities states its progress, requesting an additional year to meet the requirements for keeping Zabid on the World Heritage list.

A former capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century, Zabid was a city of great importance in the Arab and Muslim world for many centuries because of its Islamic university, but today, it is in decline and in a very poor state of conservation.

At the end of 2000, a mission of experts observed serious deterioration in the city: approximately 40 percent of homes had been replaced by concrete buildings, while other homes and the city's ancient souk were in a state of deterioration.

Therefore, the Yemeni government requested Zabid be placed on the list of endangered World Heritage Sites in order to facilitate its preservation because the city's domestic and military architecture, as well as its urban plan, make it an outstanding archeological and historical site.