Inside The Bare-Bones Camp Where Families Try To Survive Yemen’s War

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HAJJAH, Yemen (Reuters) – They live in scruffy tents or mud huts on dry, stony ground. Children play with what they have – a rubber tire will do. Medical treatment is hard to come by for young and old alike.

In northwest Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, families uprooted by the war have been stuck in camps for the past year.

Around 400 of them now reside in the Shawqaba camp in Hajjah province, which borders Saudi Arabia. A visiting Reuters photographer has captured their life in a Wider Image photo essay.

ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
A girl rides a donkey in the camp. Many children suffer from a lack of nutrition and health services in the Shawqaba camp.

When fighting between Saudi forces and Houthi rebels began in March 2015, these refugees were forced to leave their villages in al-Dhahir and Shada districts in neighboring Saada province as Saudi-led warplanes targeted Houthi positions.

Residents and human rights groups say some of the strikes destroyed homes and damaged farmlands. The coalition has acknowledged mistakes in air operations in Yemen but denies Houthi allegations that its forces strike civilian targets.

A few months later, the place they sought refuge, al-Mazraq camp near the border city of Harad, also in Hajjah, was bombarded.

Families moved further inland to the arid Shawqaba camp that lacks the most basic services. Residents call home poorly built huts that protect them neither from summer heat nor winter cold.

ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
A woman sits inside her hut at the Shawqaba camp.Elderly people with healthconditions complain of a lack of medicine, and the high prices when medicine is available.

Amal Jabir, 10, standing outside her family’s hut, says there’s only one thing she wishes for.

“I want this war to be over, to return home and finish my studies,” she says.

Many children suffer from a lack of nutrition and health services. Muhammad, 11, is waiting for treatment of his fractured leg.

Elderly people with diabetes and heart conditions complain of a lack of medicine – and the high prices when it is available.

ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
“I want this war to be over, to return home and finish my studies,”ten-year-old Amal Jabir says.

Yemen has been in a civil war for more than a year between supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Iran-allied Houthi group that has sucked in a Saudi-led alliance and caused a major humanitarian crisis.

U.N.-sponsored peace talks are scheduled to start in Kuwait on April 18. The two sides in the conflict have confirmed a truce starting at midnight on April 10.

Take a look at more images from the camp below:

ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
In the camp, medical treatment is hard to come by for both old and young. Children sit under a mosquito net outside their family’s hut in the camp.
ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
A girl holds her sister outside their family’s hut.Around 400 familieslive in the camp.
ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
Many of the people who live in the camp were forced to leave their villages in neighboring Saada province.
ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
A woman carries a child at the Shawqaba camp.The residents of the camplive in poorly built huts that protect them neither from summer heat nor winter cold.
ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
A man and a boy sleep outside a tent at the Shawqaba camp.
ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
People prepare mud bricks to build a hut at the camp.
ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD / Reuters
A woman and children are pictured in their tent at the Shawqaba camp.

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com

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