Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, February 14 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 14 Feb 2017

KEY FIGURES

2,007,216 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) *

1,027,674 IDP returnees

724,846 recipients of NFIs since March 2015

18.8 million people in need

263,432 people reached by the Protection cluster led by UNHCR in 2016

279,211 registered refugees and asylum seekers

1,839 new arrivals to Yemeni coast since 1 January 2017

FUNDING USD 99.5 million requested for the IDP and refugee operation in 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

 UNHCR is mobilizing rapid assistance with partners to help those displaced principally from Mokha and Dhubab in Taizz governorate. Challenges in response include heavy fighting and ongoing military operations which are impeding humanitarian access, and comprehensive displacement data is currently difficult to verify. Assessment missions and distributions are underway, and UNHCR has pre-positioned emergency stocks in Al Hudaydah, comprising of emergency shelter kits and household assistance consisting of mattresses, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen utensils and wash buckets.

 Latest figures released by the 12th Task Force on Population Movement, coled by UNHCR and IOM, identify 2,007,216 IDPs and 1,027,674 IDP returnees in Yemen. There is a slight decrease in the numbers of displacement figures overall due to further data collection and validation procedures. The report continues to identify food as the overwhelmingly reported need by IDPs, with 75% of informants reporting it as the priority when compared to 66% in the previous report, in addition to access to income (7%), Shelter/Housing (7%) and cooking/washing water (4%). Priority needs for returnees also continue to be reported as food (36%), financial support (19%), psychosocial support (18%).

 The United Nations and humanitarian partners launched on 8 February an international appeal for US$2.1 billion to provide life-saving assistance to 12 million people in Yemen in 2017. This is the largest consolidated humanitarian appeal for Yemen ever launched.

UPDATE ON ACHIEVEMENTS

Operational Context

The onset of conflict in March 2015 has led to a dramatic deterioration in Yemen’s security, political and social sectors impacting both Yemenis and refugees alike in their struggle to find food, shelter and security. Continued hostilities are hastening a humanitarian catastrophe, with civilians paying the highest price including casualties, death and displacement. The impact of ongoing fighting has been felt with the already precarious humanitarian situation substantially deteriorating as a result of damage to civilian infrastructure and the disruption of what were already threadbare basic services affecting refugees, asylum seekers and Yemenis. More than 18.8 million people are in need of humanitarian protection assistance, including 10.3 million people in acute need who urgently require life-saving assistance in at least one sector. A further three million people have been forced from their homes, including two million who remain internally displaced. Of those internally displaced, close to 90% have been displaced for more than 10 months.
In addition, Yemen is a historic transit hub for mixed migratory movements of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from the Horn of Africa to the Arabian Peninsula and beyond, who in search of safety now find themselves among the most vulnerable population in a country at war.

The beginning of 2017 was marked by an escalation in hostilities across Yemen. Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick, announced that the death toll in Yemen has reached 10,000 people, with 40,000 wounded as the conflict approaches two years old. Food prices soared with an increase of 33% recorded as of 14 February impacting families as they struggle to survive. UNHCR is deeply concerned about the plight of thousands of Yemeni civilians fleeing or trapped in heavy confrontation between the warring parties in Taizz governorate. Thousands of civilians are caught in the crossfire, with TPFM estimating that 41,000 people have fled the Red Sea districts of Mokha and Dhubab. Fighting is affecting essential services including medical, fuel delivery and water supply. Whilst others caught up by the violence remain trapped inside Al Mokha and Dhubab, intensified hostilities in Al Hudaydah are also making it difficult for those attempting to escape to safety. The area north of Al Mokha which includes the coastal road to Al Hudaydah remains subject to attack, placing those trying to flee at great risk during flight. Many displaced are being hosted by local families but remain in precarious conditions and in urgent need of aid.