22:41 GMT21 February 2020
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    GENEVA (Sputnik) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has begun the redeployment of the foreign personnel to Yemen, but still relies primarily on the local contingent, Carlos Batallas, the head of the ICRC mission to Aden, told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "The situation is getting worse, and humanitarian aid is even more needed… We are now bit by bit bringing back people to Yemen since last 2-3 months to various specific positions. It is not back to normal, because I do not think that we will be able to go back to normal in few months, if not years," Batallas said.

    According to Batallas, a total of 557 ICRC employees are currently working in Yemen, with 516 accounting for local specialists.

    "The good thing is that we work a lot with our local staff, with our colleagues from Yemen. And they have quite a good level of professionalism," Batallas stated, adding that local staff were enough to carry out humanitarian operations.

    Prior to that, in June, the ICRC withdrew 71 foreign personnel from Yemen over security concerns.

    READ MORE: State Department Says Yemen's Hudaydah Port Must Be Turned Over to Neutral Party

    Yemen has been gripped by a civil war between the government and the Shiite Houthi movement since 2015. The government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, has been carrying out airstrikes that target areas controlled by the Houthis since March 2015. The almost four-year war has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with half of the Yemeni population assessed by the UN as being on the brink of starvation.

    READ MORE: Yemeni Gov't Ready for Talks With Houthis for Sake of Lasting Peace — Envoy

    deployment, humanitarian crisis, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Yemen
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