Escalating Conflict on Yemen’s Western Coast - Flash Update # 2 | 25 February 2017 [EN/AR]

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 25 Feb 2017

Key messages

  • Escalation of conflict on Yemen’s Western Coast has resulted in significant civilian casualties and large scale displacement, further aggravating the humanitarian situation.

  • Over 44,000 people have recently fled the conflict throughout Taizz Governorate, including at least 25,000 from Al Mukha and Dhubab districts.

  • Protection concerns persist for those still residing in areas of active conflict, including Al Mukha City and neighbouring villages.

  • Humanitarians have scaled-up their response efforts to meet the needs of the displaced and those hosting them.

Situation overview

The military operation on the Western Coast continues to intensify, with frontlines shifting north of Al Mukha City. The conflict has resulted in at least 25,000 people fleeing the districts of Al Mukha and Dhubab in search of safety. During the same period, over 44,000 people have been displaced throughout Taizz Governorate.

The displaced are mainly fleeing within Taizz Governorate or to the governorates of Al Hudaydah,
Lahj, Ibb, Aden and Al Dhale’e. Most of Al Mukha’s population has now fled the town, with reports indicating that there are only between 80 and 300 families remaining. The remaining are unable to flee due to the costs of transportation, with displaced families indicating that they had to pay as much as US$200 for transportation to other villages within the district.
Significant protection concerns remain in Al Mukha City as clashes persist and basic services are disrupted.

The main hospital is functioning at minimum capacity and there are reports of scores of dead bodies in the street. As fighting reaches Yakhtul, a village further north of Al Mukha City, reports of civilian casualties and displacement increase.

Some displaced families are renting accommodation, although most are staying with friends and relatives, residing in public buildings, including schools, or staying out in the open. They fled with minimal items or supplies and are in urgent need of food and non-food items (NFIs), shelter, safe water and health care.
Some displaced families have also highlighted the trauma they face as a result of the conflict, including the loss of loved ones and the destruction of their homes.

Humanitarian Response

In response, humanitarian clusters have scaled up their operations across six governorates.

Shelter/NFI/Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster: IOM, UNHCR and ACTED have distributed NFIs and emergency shelter assistance to 1,544 displaced households (HHs) in Al Dhale'e (Al Azariq and Al Hussein districts), Lahj (Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah district) and Al Hudaydah (Al Garrahi and Al Khawkhah districts) governorates. Additionally, cluster partners are assessing the situation in the 28 districts hosting displaced families in Taizz, Al Hudaydah and Aden governorates, with the aim of assisting close to 6,000 households.

Water and Sanitation Cluster: WASH partners, including UNICEF, NRC, NM, SCI, IR, TYF, Oxfam, ACF and SCI, have provided assistance to some 1,179 HHs in Al Hudaydah, Taizz and Lahj governorates. The interventions include distribution of hygiene kits, water filters, water purification tablets, water storage tanks and NFIs. Additionally, UNICEF has provided fuel to local water authorities for water pumping to Al Mukha City, and carried out rehabilitation work in Al Khawkhah district of Al Hudayadah Governorate in collaboration with the General Authority for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation. Cluster partners are planning to reach an additional 10,477 households with emergency WASH interventions in the districts hosting displaced families.

Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC): A total of 3,540 displaced households were covered through general food distribution in Taizz (Al Mukha and As Silw districts) and in Al Hudaydah (Al Garrahi, Al Khawkhah, At Tuhayat, Hays, Jabal Ras, Zabid, Bayt Alfaqiah and Almaraweah districts) governorates.

Health Cluster: WHO is supporting health facilities in Taizz Governorate (Al Mukha and Maqbanah districts) and in Al Hudaydah Governorate (Al Garrahi, Hays, and Bayt Alfaqiah districts), which includes the provision of trauma bags, emergency health kits and the distribution of anti-malarial drugs and rapid test kits.
Additionally, IOM deployed mobile health teams in Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah district in Lahj Governorate and WHO/YFCA are supplying medicines for YFCA mobile teams in Al Mukha City. ACF is planning to deploy mobile health teams in Al Garrahi and Jabal Ras districts of Al Hudaydah governorates, and SCI is extending operations at the Diarrhea Treatment Centre in Bayt Alfaqiah district to support IDPs and the host community. Health partners are also focusing on trauma care in conflict affected areas and general health interventions to IDPs (e.g. Acute Watery Diarrhea, Malaria and respiratory infections). Response efforts, including the provision of medical supplies and the deployment of mobile teams, are being scaled up in the southern districts of Al Hudaydah including Hays, Jabal Ras and Al Khawkha.

Protection Cluster: Cluster partners provided assistance to 415 households in Aden and Lahj Governorates including legal and psychosocial support and cash assistance.
In addition to clusters partners, humanitarian organizations from Gulf countries have responded in Al Mukha and Dhubab districts with food and NFI distributions, fuel provision for water schemes and medicines for health facilities.

For further information, please contact:
George Khoury, Head of Office, khoury@un.org
Andrew J. Alspach, Deputy Head of Office, Amman Hub, alspach@un.org
Bruce Koepe, OCHA New York, Coordination and Response Division, koepke@un.org, Tel: +1 917 367 6288
OCHA humanitarian bulletins are available at www.unocha.org/yemen | www.unocha.org | www.reliefweb.int

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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