HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
On 6 November, ‘temporary’ closure of all of Yemen’s airports, seaports and land crossings took effect, disrupting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to 27 million people. UNFPA and all humanitarian actors called for the borders to be re-opened and flights to be resumed, stressing that continued closure will sharply aggravate humanitarian crisis in Yemen and bring millions of people in Yemen closer to starvation and death. Of particular concern was on the lives of 52,800 pregnant women who risk complications with immediate danger to their lives if they do not get urgent life-saving maternal care and medicines.
While some sea and airports were opened following two weeks of complete closure, the humanitarian crisis has continued to aggravate posing a critical threat to the lives of millions already struggling to survive. Due to limited funding, humanitarian agencies are only able to target one third of the population (7 million), while some two thirds of the population rely on commercially imported supplies, making the continued availability of commodities in the markets essential in preventing an unprecedented famine in Yemen.
UNFPA's response in Yemen has so far reached over 2 million people with reproductive health and gender-based violence services and information.
Support in November included treatment of 46 fistula cases in Sana'a and Aden.'Mama kits' containing items for the hygiene and protection of mother's and their newborns were provided to maternity units across 8 governorates. In addition, 118 unemployed midwives are being assisted to operated private home-based clinics, providing critical life-saving maternal health services to pregnant women and women of childbearing age.
The new Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Adolescent Health Strategy for Yemen 2017-2021 was launched and endorsed in November. The new strategy aims to ensure that the urgent reproductive health needs during emergencies are adequately strategized, with a special section on reproductive health in humanitarian situations.