UNITED NATIONS, March 24 (Xinhua) -- After weeks of intense negotiations, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has reached the embattled district of Mokha in Yemen's western governorate of Taizz, where hostilities between the warring parties have escalated since January, a UN spokesman said here Friday.
Intensified fighting has led to more than 48,000 people being displaced from Taizz in the past six weeks alone, the deputy UN spokesman, Farhan Haq, said at a daily news briefing here.
"Humanitarian access to Mokha, a flashpoint of hostilities and one of the worst affected areas within the governorate, has been particularly challenging owing to ongoing clashes and movement restrictions imposed by parties to the conflict."
UNHCR teams went on mission to Mokha this week and started distributions on Monday in an area close to the frontlines, Haq said.
In early February, Yemeni government forces backed by the coalition of Gulf Arab troops and warplanes led by Saudi Arabia stormed Mokha, the coast city, from the northwestern part and paved the way for an advance on neighboring main port city of Hodeidah.
However, the battles have since intensified and trapped thousands of civilian residents in the city, as well as hampered the humanitarian operation to import vital food and fuel supplies, according to a recent statement by the United Nations.
More than 3,416 individuals affected by the conflict received non-food assistance from UNHCR, which included mattresses, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets and wash buckets, he added.
According to a new UN report, since the beginning of the conflict in March 2015, more than 11 percent of Yemen's population -- some 3 million people -- has been forced to flee their homes for safety.
Almost two years later, prolonged hostilities and worsening conditions are forcing 1 million of those uprooted to return to the homes from which they fled, despite danger and insecurity across the country.