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From the field - Urgent need for humanitarian space in Abyan, southern Yemen

A major offensive by Yemeni forces against Ansar Al Sharia, an Al Qaeda affiliated group, is underway in Abyan province.

With daily fighting, shelling and airstrikes, the humanitarian situation in the province is rapidly deteriorating.

Assessments carried out by our Aden-based teams last week show that residents, including those wounded, have little access to water and medical care.

ICRC head of delegation Eric Marclay and his team have a hundred-truck aid convoy in Aden ready to deliver food, water, generators and medical supplies but are unable to enter Abyan due to the intensity of the fighting.

Mr. Marclay is calling for a humanitarian pause to allow our teams to enter the areas most affected, deliver relief aid and prevent further mass displacement towards Aden, where thousands of IDPs already live.