The escalation of fighting between opposition groups in Yemen from 26th March, 2015 affected close to 2 million people as at August 2015. 1,439,118 persons were internally displaced and 100,661 left Yemen to seek refuge in Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Oman and Saudi Arabia (UNHCR). Djibouti continued to receive the majority of refugees and was one of the rare neighbouring countries that had opened its borders to those fleeing Yemen.
In May 2015, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released CHF 66,180 from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Djibouti Red Crescent Society (DRCS) respond to the needs of the affected population. This DREF operation intended to meet the survival and immediate needs of the targeted population through the provision of essential health, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion services, targeting a total of 2,000 arrivals at Djibouti port and Al-Rahma and Omnisport Stadium sites in Obock. In June 2015 following a detailed assessment the EPoA was revised targeting 3,800 refugees and the budget increased to CHF 160,629.
An end of operation review was carried out jointly by IFRC and DRCS from 16th to 20th November 2015 to assess the successes, challenges and lessons learnt from the implementation of DREF operation.
Key findings indicate that overall, the DREF operation was successfully implemented and most set targets achieved. The intended coverage of the operation was achieved and the community was receptive of DRCS assistance. The DREF operation was effective as it catered for some of the immediate needs of the refugees upon arrival in Djibouti. The response was also timely with only delay being on distributing some of the hygiene kits. The distribution took place after the implementation period. On beneficiary accountability, most beneficiaries preferred raising their complaints with their leaders and DRCS branch coordinator. Female beneficiaries however recommend that DRCS should also employ a female staff to handle complaints and feedback on female issues such as menstrual hygiene.
Recommendations made are that there is need for DRCS to continue providing the WASH services and goods as there are still unmet needs with increasing refugee population. There is also need to involve the beneficiaries in project implementation as well as establish feedback mechanisms to provide and receive information from beneficiaries. In future operations kick start project meetings should be held as well as sharing EPoA and budget information to enhance understanding among staff on the operation. With a more long term perspective, capacity building of the DRCS staff and volunteers on PMER, beneficiary communications, resource mobilization as well as use of technology and innovation is necessary.