Humanitarian needs continue to be worsened by the spread of COVID-19 across the country while access to basic services, including health care, is becoming more limited for internally displaced people (IDPs), migrants and host communities. Hospitals, already facing equipment, medicine and fuel shortages, are either closing down or turning away suspected COVID-19 cases, and close to 10,000 people have fled areas, mostly in Aden, for fear of contracting the virus. The ongoing conflict adds another layer of challenges, with close to 130,000 households reporting restricted access to health facilities as a direct result of the impact of armed violence1 . At the same time, test kits and protective equipment shortages limit COVID-19 surveillance and response efforts. These challenges, along with the perceived risks of seeking care and delayed hospital treatment, make the full human impact of COVID-19 in Yemen difficult to measure. New Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis for southern governorates warns that there will be an alarming increase in the number of people facing acute food insecurity in the next six months, as a result of the pandemic and economic crisis. Up to 40 per cent of the population in southern governorates will be affected due to a drastic reduction in incomes and purchasing power.
To improve access to health and basic services, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) teams are urgently scaling up COVID-19 service mapping and infection prevention and control (IPC) activities in displacement sites. These activities have been able to resume across Taizz, Ibb and Marib governorates, after a suspension by the Executive Unit, the body responsible for coordinating activities in the south, was lifted. Thousands of IDPs were also affected by heavy flooding; IOM assessments in Marib alone estimate that more than 5,000 households are in urgent need of shelter, non-food item (NFI), food and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Through the common shelter and non-food item (S-NFI) pipeline, IOM is deploying contingency stocks to support affected communities.
As migrant arrivals into Yemen decreased for the fifth month since the start of the outbreak, more and more migrants are becoming stranded, unable to continue their journeys to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), largely as a result of COVID-19 movement restrictions. Stranded migrants face perilous conditions in detention and forced transfers from various governorates at the hands of local security actors. Traditional coping mechanisms such as support from host communities are eroding amid the pandemic. IOM continues to raise visibility over the situation of migrants in Yemen, and the need for return solutions for stranded migrants.
- International Organization for Migration
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