Yemen UNHCR Flash Update, 10 February 2017
28,000 people estimated to have fled Al Mokha
2,600 people have fled to neighbouring governorate of Al Hudaydah
2,007,216 Internally displaced persons (IDPs) since onset of hostilities in March 2015.
1,027,674 IDP returnees since March 2015
UNHCR is deeply concerned about the plight of thousands of Yemeni civilians fleeing or caught up in heavy confrontation in Taizz governorate. While hostilities have intensified in the Red Sea districts of Al Mokha and Dhubab, individuals are also being displaced further inland from Al Wazi'iyah and Mawza in Taizz as conflict engulfs key strategic locations across the governorate. Thousands of civilians are being caught in the crossfire, worsening the situation for an already vulnerable population. UNHCR is mobilizing rapid assistance together with partners to help those displaced. Challenges in response include heavy fighting and ongoing military operations which are impeding humanitarian access, and comprehensive displacement data is currently difficult to verify. Those trapped face serious risks in an effort to reach safety, including mined roads and ongoing hostilities.
The number of displaced is expected to increase as major confrontation continues.
Mass Displacement in Taizz and beyond: The UNHCR –IOM led Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM) rolled out its new Emergency Tracking (ET) methodology for tracking displacement during this sudden onset of displacement in Taizz. In the past days the number of those displaced has increased to more than 34,000 individuals, at least 28,000 people, have fled in search of safety within Taizz governorate. The remaining 6,000 have fled to the neighboring governorates including almost 2,600 to neighbouring Al Hudaydah, and further families displaced to Lahj and Ibb governorates. Figures could be much higher as hostilities continue.
Al Mokha: The situation inside Mokha city is of serious concern, along with the security and logistics in providing much needed assistance to those trapped inside the city. There are conflicting reports as to the number of people that remain within the city of Al Mokha, with some estimations putting the figure at up to 20,000 people. Fighting is affecting essential services including medical, fuel delivery and water supply.
Al Dhubab: Fighting in Taizz has prompted the majority of the town to flee, with an estimated 1,000 families remaining in the town.
UNHCR RESPONSE UPDATE
As lead of the Shelter/CCCM and Protection Clusters, UNHCR is mobilising cluster member agencies and formulating coordinated response plans.
UNHCR has mobilized assessment teams across displacement sites in Hudaydah, Ibb and the district of Maqbanah in Taizz, the latter of which is host to 5,436 individuals.
UNHCR has commenced deliveries of emergency assistance, including core relief items and emergency shelter.
In Hudaydah, UNHCR distributions of non-food items, including mattresses, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets and wash buckets; and emergency shelter are ongoing for 3,633 displaced individuals. In addition 174 emergency shelters kits and 345 tents are being distributed. Further distributions for freshly displaced IDPs in other districts across Hudaydah governorate are also planned to cover needs for 5,131 individuals, subject to access permits and security considerations.
UNHCR is also delivering assistance to 301 individuals in Ibb where only small-scale movements to the governorate from Al Mokha and Dhubab have so far been witnessed.
UNHCR is currently negotiating deliveries of emergency assistance to 6,342 individuals in Maqbanah, Taizz. Owing to ongoing military operations, humanitarian access remains a key challenge but UNHCR is engaged in negotiations with relevant authorities to deliver assistance in hard-to-reach areas.