IOM Yemen - Marib Response (16 - 31 January 2021)



Moving into 2021, protracted conflict continues to affect hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members in Marib. Civilians are bearing the devastating impact of renewed hostilities, seeing their homes and community infrastructure damaged, being forced to flee to safety. During this reporting period, the fighting has so far impacted civilian areas in Jabal Murad, Mahliyah and Sirwah districts, affecting women and children the most. Humanitarian access to many areas in Marib continues to be a challenge and basic services remain overstretched.

Increased fighting or shifts in frontlines will lead to another wave of displacement, with more people predicted to flee into Marib city and surrounding areas. IOM estimates that 106,449 people have been displaced by the fighting since January 2020, and partners estimate that significant changes to frontlines could displace an additional 385,000 people, who will likely move further into eastern Marib, Hadramaut and Shabwah. While people flee conflict-affected areas, at least 4,500 migrants are estimated to be stranded in Marib city – many of whom are unable to access basic services and in dire need of food, shelter, health and protection assistance.

Before the escalation of hostilities in 2020, Marib governorate already hosting the largest displaced population and IDP hosting site in Yemen. The surge in fighting since January 2020 has displaced an estimated 15,207 families (106,449 people), adding to the hundreds of thousands already sheltering in the governorate. More than a year since the first wave of displacements, people continue to move to Marib city and surrounding areas, a majority fleeing conflict for the second time. IOM estimates that 60 per cent of new IDPs are settling into crowded displacement sites or informal settlements with inadequate services. With the situation showing no sign of easing, there are continued concerns around the resources and capacities needed to respond.

Humanitarian gaps exist across the response, and some of the largest are in shelter maintenance, waste management and hygiene, health, food and education. IOM estimates that Around 70 per cent of displaced families in Marib lack access to reliable, safe water systems, and over 90 per cent of new arrivals (13,000 HHs) lack access to adequate latrines. Only one IDP hosting site in Marib city (Al Jufainah Camp) has temporary learning spaces or a permanent education partner presence—which still covers only 20-30 per cent of the needs. IOM also estimates that 45 per cent of IDPs do not have sustained access to health services. Of the 125 IDP sites in Marib, IOM and partners are able to provide sustained support in 34 sites, down from 46 sites in 2020 due to stretched capacities. As of January 2021, IOM and partners are providing support in 34 out of the 125 IDP sites in Marib, down from 46 sites in 2020. This decrease is a testament to the limited partner resources in Marib, with one partner ceasing support due to lack of funds. The 15 sites which report no access to food assistance are also of particular concern to the Organization.