The security situation in Yemen continued to deteriorate in May, especially along the West coast and around the city of Al Hudaydah. UNICEF is concerned around child protection and safety of civilians and civilian infrastructure.
The pilot phase of the first-ever Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign in Yemen was launched on the 6 May and concluded on 15 May, just before the start of Ramadan.
The campaign, which was aimed at preventing the resurgence of the world’s largest cholera outbreak, reached 274,650 people (60 per cent of target population) in five high-risk districts of Aden governorate. The second phase will be conducted in July 2018 (exact dates to be confirmed), and will target a population of 828,221 across four highrisk districts (three in Amanat al Asimah and one in Al Hudaydah).
Yemen suffered the effects of a natural disaster on 23 May, with the tropical cyclone 'Mekunu' sweeping through the island of Socotra resulting in heavy floods where 1,003 household were displaced and 60,000 people were directly or indirectly affected. UNICEF has distributed hygiene kits and chlorine tabs to 1,000 households and supported local water authorities to conduct blanket chlorination of water reservoirs and communal water tanks on Socotra.
UNICEF continued the rehabilitation of several rural and urban water supply schemes, improving access to safe drinking water to an additional 885,000 people, including 419,000 children.
In May, UNICEF provided psychosocial support to 22,353 people, including 18,081 children, through community-based and mobile child-friendly spaces in twelve governorates.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
As efforts are ongoing on revamping peace talks, clashes intensified in May, with parties to the conflict trying to secure military gains. The security situation around Al Hudaydah city is particularly volatile. On 25 May, the Saudi-led Coalition-backed forces made a rapid advance up the West coast, gaining more than 100 km in four days, and airstrikes accompanied the advance. The conflict has at the time of reporting reached the coastline village of Al Durayhimi, some 18 km from Al Hudaydah city, and south of the airport. Fighting is expected to continue and it is predicted that this could lead to large displacement, and both supply lines and the port are under threat; the humanitarian community is responding to the rapidly growing needs. In Sa'ada, armed clashes have also flared in two districts and airstrikes are increasing, whilst in Taizz armed clashes are also escalating and intensifying with the shifting of conflict lines, affecting humanitarian access. Overall in May, 17 children were verified as killed and 35 children were verified as maimed.
On top of the conflict, Yemen also suffered the effects of a natural disaster on 23 May with the tropical cyclone 'Mekunu' sweeping through the island of Socotra, flooding it heavily, before making landfall in the Sultanate of Oman on 26 May. The Government of Yemen declared a state of emergency and called on humanitarian organizations to support relief efforts. Minor damage to infrastructure has been reported and food and WASH assistance remain priority needs. On 27 May, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported that seven people have died and eight are still missing due to the cyclone. Overall, 1,003 household were displaced and 60,000 people were directly or indirectly affected.
The attack rate for Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD)/cholera continues to decline for the 36th consecutive week, and 153 of the 305 affected districts have not reported any suspected cases for the last three weeks. For diphtheria, as of 27 May 2018, a cumulative total of 1,817 suspected cases (an 8.5 per cent increase from the previous month) were reported including 97 associated deaths (a 7.7 per cent increase) and a case fatality rate of 5.3 per cent, with children under the age of five (U5) representing 20 per cent of suspected cases and 37 per cent of associated deaths.