Moving into the second half of the year, crisis affected populations in Yemen remain in critical need of shelter, food and financial support as economic difficulties, conflict, COVID-19 and severe food insecurity prolong the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The continued fuel crisis over the last quarter has also meant that people already faced with decreased access to basic services grapple with inflated prices for food, water and basic goods. The displacement crisis in Ma’rib has shown no signs of improvement as fighting persists, and halfway through the year, over 23,471 individuals have been displaced, making a total of nearly 154,476 displaced persons since January 2020 when re-escalation began. With Yemen’s rainy season ongoing, heavy storms began their disastrous effect on displaced people across the country, affecting thousands of households living in already inadequate shelters and placing them in increasingly precarious living conditions.
The third Senior Officials Meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen took place with the participation of the main humanitarian and development actors in Yemen in June. The participants – donors, UN agencies, the World Bank and other humanitarian actors – assessed the deteriorating humanitarian situation, related economic drivers and progress achieved since the previous two meetings. Participants also discussed the need for continued engagement to resolve countrywide access constraints and persisting funding shortages for the humanitarian response.
Following the spike in COVID-19 positive cases and associated deaths in quarter one, IOM lent its support to the United Nations (UN) COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Yemen. The Organization began providing vaccinations at five health centres in Aden, Ma’rib, Shabwah, Ta'iz and Lahj following the receipt of the initial 360,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility on 31 March. The roll-out of the vaccination campaign began on 20 April and to date, over 288,000 vaccine doses have been provided to Yemeni citizens, with IOM continuing to advocate for the vaccination of migrants due to their heightened vulnerabilities and risk of contracting the disease in Yemen.
Throughout this quarter, migrants desperately in search of opportunity continued to travel via dangerous, irregular migratory routes and smuggler networks to arrive to Yemen with the hopes of continuing on to the neighboring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). In mid-June, media reported that a boat originating from Djibouti sank with upwards of 200 Ethiopian migrants onboard in the Bab-al-Mandab strait. Though the number of victims could not be confirmed, IOM’s Mobile Medical Teams (MMTs) recovered at least one body and local fisherman reported the recovery and burial of over 30 victims. Despite the continued heightened risk to migrants traveling through Yemen, IOM’s DTM flow monitoring points observed arrivals of over 3,545 migrants in the month of June alone, almost three times the number of migrants arrivals (1,350) in all of quarter one.