Escalation of armed conflict led to the displacement of an additional 13,680 people in seven governorates of Yemen. UNICEF and Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) partners distributed 10,074 RRM kits to displaced families.
As of 1 Oct, 2,041 COVID-19 officially confirmed cases were reported, with an additional 591 associated deaths and 1,320 recovered cases. This brings the case fatality rate (CFR) to 29% - five times the global average. The officially confirmed cases were reported in 11 governorates in the South.
Between 1 Jan – 30 Sep 2020, 197,377 acute water diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera suspected cases and 62 associated deaths were reported, with a 0.03 percent CFR, which is a significant decrease compared with the same period of 2019.
UNICEF supported the response planning to the vaccine derived Poliovirus outbreak declared in Sa’ada at the beginning of August and procured 2.4 million doses of polio vaccine.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF appeal is for $535 million as part of the 2020 Yemen Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC), which is aligned to the 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP). As of 4 August 2020, total funding received from donors reached $ 708.8 million, only 22% of the total funding requirements for humanitarian and relief assistance in Yemen, which amount to $ 3.38 billion for the year 20201 . While UNICEF continues vigorous fundraising for its 2020 HAC appeal, it has received less than $62 million. A total of $173 million was carried forward from 2019, leaving an overall funding gap of $299 million as of 30 September 2020. UNICEF Yemen will revise down its current HAC appeal to $453 million; the revision down takes into consideration the constrained implementing environment and the new COVID-19 appeal, which will cover activities that require adjustments or expansion due to the pandemic. A separate, dedicated HAC on COVID-19 is also used in Yemen, with its own reporting mechanism. As of 30 September, UNICEF has received $61 million against the $103 million appeal for resources as part of its COVID-19 response in Yemen.
Despite the funding gaps and operational constraints, UNICEF continues to implement its responses using alternative modalities. In September, the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) reached 97,806 people with COVID-19 messages while maintaining physical distancing practices. With schools starting on 6 September, UNICEF supported the training of 215 teachers in Sana’a and Sa’ada on Safe Schools Protocols, using the education cluster-approved Training of Trainers package.
As part of continuing efforts to strengthen risk prevention and management measures, UNICEF continued to implement recommendations from the 2019 Office of Internal Audit and Investigation Internal audit report. As a result, UNICEF is actively implementing a series of risk mitigation measures for children in a highly challenging and complex environment. UNICEF continued to implement the enhanced Harmonised Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT Plus). HACT Plus is a risk management framework that goes beyond the regular HACT framework adopted along with other UN agencies. HACT Plus transcends the minimum prescribed assurance activities in HACT, a decision that is determined by the inherent risk exposure and operating environment. As of 31st August, 120 implementing partners were re-assessed to establish their revised risk profiles using the enhanced risk assessment methodology. A further 80 onsite financial reviews and 74 financial audits are also ongoing, using the revised financial assurance Terms of Reference with an increased focus on fraud detection and prevention. Overall 89% of OIAI audit sub-actions have been completed.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Armed confrontations escalated over the course of September in seven governorates of Hodeidah, Marib, Sa’ada, Al-Jawf, Al-Dhale, Abyan and Hajjah. Airstrikes were also reported in Marib governorate. During September, 2,351 families (13,860 people) were displaced due to the conflict, bringing the number of total displaced families to 24,246 (145,476 people) since January 2020. The highest displacement figures were recorded around conflict lines in Marib, Al Baydha, Al Dhale, Taizz and Al Hodeidah, Sa’ada and Al Jawf governorates.
Between 1 January – 30 Sep 2020, 197,377 AWD/cholera suspected cases and 62 associated deaths were reported, with a 0.03 percent CFR, which is a significant decrease compared with the same period of 2019 (702,838 suspected cases and 942 associated deaths with a 0.1 percent CFR). Al Jawf, Lahj, and Shabwah are three governorates showing a very small increase in outbreaks during the last few weeks. The available data shows that the cholera trends are still stable; however, UNICEF is closely monitoring cholera suspected cases and associated deaths, especially with the ongoing heavy rains and floods.
To date, 15 cases of the vaccine derived poliovirus have been confirmed in the Sa’ada governorate. UNICEF continues to support the outbreak response and replenish routine immunisation stocks, procuring 2.4 million doses of bivalent oral polio vaccine.
As of 30 September, 2,041 COVID-19 officially confirmed cases, and 591 associated deaths and 1,320 recovered cases were reported in Yemen, with a 29 percent CFR. It means more than a quarter of Yemenis confirmed to have the disease have died. This is five times the global average, suggesting that a large proportion of cases are not diagnosed and not isolated. This allows the virus continues to be transmitted in silence. Due to a lack of testing capacity and underreporting, only critical COVID-19 cases are being tested in Southern governorates, and the situation in Northern governorates remains unclear due to a lack of information. While the officially confirmed cases were reported in 11 governorates, the level of transmission at the community level remains unknown. Serious concerns remain over this possible ongoing "silent" transmission, particularly in northern Yemen, where only four cases have been confirmed since April 2020. UNICEF continues to support 4 triage centres in 4 governorates (Amanat, Al Asimah, Dhamar, Amran and Marib) since the 4th week of September.
The Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) in September continued to verify grave child rights violations, despite increased delays due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Yemen. The UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (UNCTFMR) has documented 33 incidents of grave violations against children, of which 97 per cent were verified. However, these are only figures that the UN has been able to verify to date. The actual number of incidents may be higher. Of those verified, there continued to be a high number of child casualties, including 8 children killed (7 boys and 1 girl), and 39 children maimed (32 boys and 7 girls), by various parties to the conflict. There were no other violations, but there was one case of an attack against a school. Most of the incidents documented and verified were in the province of Hodeidah, closely followed by Taiz and then Marib.