Yemen UNHCR Flash Update, 21 - 27 July 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 27 Jul 2017

KEY FIGURES

  • 20.7 million people in need

  • 1,980,510 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

  • 81 Percentage of IDPs displaced for more than a year

  • 946,044 IDP returnees

  • 865,121 recipients of NFIs since March 2015

  • 280,096 refugees and asylum seekers

FUNDING

  • USD 114.6 million requested for IDPs and refugees in Yemen for 2017

OPERATIONAL UPDATE

Efforts to combat cholera are ongoing, as the latest UN figures indicate that over 425,000 suspected cases and 1,895 deaths are associated with the most recent outbreak. Since 27 April, UNHCR has worked to confront the cholera epidemic in areas with a high concentration of refugees, through prevention and awareness activities in supported health and community centres, dissemination of translated materials to refugees and surrounding host communities, early case detection / surveillance and referral services. Prevention activities, in close coordination with WHO, UNICEF and authorities who are leading the response, were also increased through UNHCR-led clusters, including Protection through the Community Based Protection Network volunteers and support from Shelter/NFI/CCCM Cluster to prevent further spread.

IDP RESPONSE

UNHCR carried out a mission to Majz district in Sa’ada Governorate, where some 2,700 displaced families have sought shelter. Joined by OCHA, this was the second visit to the area in order to verify and assess the situation. Shelter support and core relief items are a clear need in the area, given that many families have fled their homes without their belongings, with numerous families living in tents, flimsy shelters or renting small rooms. UNHCR is working to respond to this IDP community by providing material assistance and enhancing protection monitoring in Majz district through national partners. A UNHCR pilot shelter project for an extremely vulnerable IDP community in Abs district, Hajjah Governorate, is well underway. Some 63 shelters have been completed in the Al-Manjjurah spontaneous settlement, where families have sought shelter in poor conditions for over two years. The traditional shelters are constructed using local materials, with thatched roofs and mud walls, reinforced with plastic sheeting and a wooden frame. The pilot phase will see 200 shelters constructed, with a further 1,500 homes to soon follow. UNHCR is working toward equipping communities and authorities with the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure protection for IDPs. In Aden, UNHCR and OCHA met with the newly appointed team from the Public Orientation “Moral Guidance” Department under the Ministry of Interior, who have been tasked by the Minister to train police and security forces on the rights of IDPs and how to engage with IDPs under humanitarian principles. UNHCR is planning to deliver training of trainers for the new team on IDP rights and the state’s obligation to those displaced. As displaced families often face heightened protection risks, improving the quality of the IDP response is underway, with over 1,300 households reached using in-depth protection monitoring to carry out a baseline survey. The sheer scale of the humanitarian needs of IDPs requires UNHCR to identify and target the most vulnerable cases. The use of KoBo Collect, a mobile data collection platform, eases data entry and enables UNHCR to analyse protection trends in Aden, Lahj and southern Taizz.

REFUGEE RESPONSE

UNHCR Special Envoy on the Somali Refugee Situation, Ambassador Affey, carried out a mission to Aden, tasked with identifying durable solutions for Somali persons of concern, including return, but also alternative pathways to protection and local integration. Ambassador Affey met with authorities and persons of concern at the Return Help Desk (RHD) in Basateen, and held discussions on the Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) programme with Somali refugee community leaders representing persons of concern who wish to return to Somalia. During the mission, Ambassador Affey also met with the Prime Minister, line ministries and Governors as well as Somali officials to address some of the challenges impacting Somali refugees in Yemen.

At the same time, UNHCR continues the roll out of the ASR programme for Somali refugees. The latest figures indicate that 589 individuals have been counselled on ASR in Kharaz camp and Basateen, with 550 individuals confirming their intention to return. The voluntary return form has been signed by 169 individuals. IOM also commenced medical screenings, namely the ‘Fit to Travel’ check-up, for the first cohort of individuals.