Yemen

UNICEF Yemen Humanitarian Situation Report (May 2019)

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Highlights

• On 16 May, multiple air strikes hit various locations in Amanat Al Asimah and Sana’a governorates, killing children and wounding more than 70 civilians. Seven children between the ages of 4 and 14 were also killed on 24 May in an attack on the Mawiyah district, in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz. This attack increased the verified number of children killed and injured the escalation of violence near Sanaa and in Taiz to 27 in only 10 days, but the actual numbers are likely to be much higher.

• The number of Acute Watery Diarrhoea/suspected cholera cases has continued to rise since the start of 2019, with 312 out of 333 districts reporting suspected cases this year so far. Since 1 January 2019 to 31 May 2019, there have been 365,223 suspected cases and 638 associated deaths recorded (CFR 0.20 per cent). Children under five represent a quarter of the total suspected cases.

• UNICEF continues to assess and monitor the nutrition situation in Yemen. Out of the 22 planned SMART surveys nationwide, seven were completed in eight governorates between January and end of May 2019. These were conducted in Ibb, Sa’ada, Shabwa,
Hajjah, Taiz, Abyan, Socotra and Al Maharah governorates.

• This year, UNICEF, together Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) partners, has reached 752,745 newly displaced people with RRM kits (which include essential hygiene items and other supplies) within the first 72 hours of triggering a response.

12.3 million
# of children in need of humanitarian assistance (estimated)

24.1 million
# of people in need (OCHA, 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Needs Overview)

1.71 million
# of children internally displaced (IDPs)

4.7 million
# of children in need of educational assistance

360,000
# of children under 5 suffering Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM)

17.8 million
# of people in need of WASH assistance

19.7 million
# of people in need of basic health care

UNICEF Appeal 2019
US$ 536 million

Funding Available*
US$ 268.6 million

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Hostilities across Yemen continued in May impacting a very high number of civilians. “Violence rages still,” Mr. Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the Security Council on 15 May. “In the first quarter of the year, more than 900 civilian casualties were reported. And it is a sobering fact of the war in Yemen…that civilians are more likely to die in their own homes than anywhere else, as a result of the war.” On 16 May, multiple air strikes hit various locations in Amanat Al Asimah and Sana’a governorates, killing children and wounding more than 70 civilians. Seven children between the ages of 4 and 14 were also killed on 24 May in an attack on the Mawiyah district, in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz. This attack increased the verified number of children killed and injured the escalation of violence near Sanaa and in Taiz to 27 in only 10 days, but the actual numbers are likely to be much higher. In a statement on 26 May, Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, said: “Nowhere is safe for children in Yemen. The conflict is haunting them in their homes, schools and playgrounds”.

Since the end of April, authorities in Aden, Lahj and Abyan governorates have detained migrants. Between 3-8 May, migrants were released from two detention sites, and as of 9 May, one detention site was operating in Aden city. The International Organisation for Migration has raised concerns over the presence of security forces which poses protection risks for all detainees, in particular for women, girls and boys.

One of the major land routes connecting Aden and Sana’a closed due to fighting in Qa’atabah and neighboring districts in Al Dhale’e Governorate. Humanitarian partners are obliged to use alternative routes that pass through insecure areas with numerous checkpoints, with trucks carrying humanitarian supplies taking more than 60 hours to travel between Aden and Sana’a, which is about four times longer than before the road closed. Field reports also indicate that a shortage of cooking gas persists in many areas. In Sana’a region, cooking gas stations are no longer operational. Meanwhile, following widespread shortages of gasoline in March and April, petrol and diesel is now largely available, but in Ibb, queues were reported at gasoline stations due to increased demand and fear of potential shortages during Ramadan.

Whilst there was a decrease in the number of new Acute Watery Diarrhoea/suspected cholera cases in May, in comparison to April, 312 out of 333 districts have reported suspected cases this year so far. Since 1 January 2019 to 31 May 2019, there have been 365,223 suspected cases and 638 associated deaths recorded (CFR 0.20 per cent).

While children under five represent a quarter of the total suspected cases in 2019, the elderly (above 60 years) although that they represent only 8% of caseload they are most seriously affected with CRF of 46%; this is attributable to existing co-morbidities such as heart disease, renal problems, etc. Health and WASH clusters have significantly scaled-up their response; UNICEF is working closely with the relevant Ministries, World Health Organisation and other humanitarian partners to ensure an effective response.