UNICEF Yemen Crisis Humanitarian Situation Report (September 2016) [EN/AR]
The nutrition situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate, exacerbated by economic situation and weakened national systems, putting millions of Yemeni children and their families at risk of losing access to basic services.
From 24 to 29 September, UNICEF supported the second round of Integrated Outreach activities for vaccination, health and nutrition services. The campaign was carried out across the country to reach more than 600,000 children under 5 years and over 180,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Outreach campaigns give some respite to the currently overstretched national health system.
The Back 2 School campaign is ongoing at full capacity. During the reporting period, rehabilitation works were completed in 14 schools and works continue to benefit over 4,500 children in conflict-affected districts. UNICEF supported the procurement and the import of consumables to print textbooks for students in grades 4th, 5th and 6th
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
In the absence of a durable solution to the conflict in Yemen, millions continue to face its disastrous consequences. Since early August, hostilities, airstrikes, ground fighting and shelling have not ceased and the number of civilian victims and damaged infrastructure is worryingly increasing [note that since 20 October a Cessation of Hostilities is in effect, bringing much needed respite to civilians in Yemen].
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the total of civilian casualties in August showed a 40 per cent increase compared to the previous month, at least 3,980 civilians have been killed and 6,909 injured between 26 March 2015 and 22 September 2016.
The international community and humanitarian partners in Yemen have emphasised the need for all parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law and to take urgent measures to improve the humanitarian situation. Once again, the Humanitarian Coordinator called on all parties to recommit to the cessation of hostilities and to support the initiatives of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen.
Furthermore, the liquidity crisis and the recently announced relocation of the Central Bank of Yemen from Sana’a to Aden are expected to worsen the already dire economic and financial situation due to its impact on imports and further disruption of public sector salary payments. Basic commodities are scarce across the majority of the governorates in Yemen due to the low level of imports and limited movement of goods given the security situation. 2 Delivery of humanitarian supplies has also been affected.
The current situation of the national Health system is of great concern for UNICEF and partners. According to preliminary results from the WHO-supported Health Resources Availability Mapping System (HeRAMS), over 54 per cent of health facilities in 16 governorates surveyed are not functioning or partially functioning, only 37 per cent of hospitals remain fully functional and 70 per cent of governorates report levels of staffing below the minimum WHO benchmark of 22 health workers for every 10,000 persons.
Under this scenario, health authorities have been forced to close down or to reduce services, leaving thousands of people with no access to essential health care. During this critical time, UNICEF has increased its coverage and outreach health and nutrition programmes, however humanitarian needs are mounting and such programmes, though helpful, won’t be sustainable in the long term and further support is required to consolidate the national health system.