Yemen: 100,000 people have fled their homes

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An international military operation began in Yemen on March 26th 2015, since then 100,000 people have been displaced throughout the country.

Mass displacement

In addition, there are increasing reports of people moving into Amran (28,000 people so far), located north of the capital Sana'a and large movements have been detected within Al Dhale’e, where an estimated 65,000 people are thought to have moved so far.

Fighting is so far estimated to have killed 549, and injured 1,707 individuals. These are thought to be underestimates as many people do not have the means to seek treatment in hospitals, and families may bury the dead before reports can be collected.

In total, an estimated 100,000 people have been displaced. Population movements are more fluid in the south than the north of the country. The current scale of displacement is considered a short-term concern as many people are fleeing as a precautionary measure rather than due to destruction of local infrastructure and/or homes. Fighting has intensified in Aden over the last few days, where at least 185 dead and 1,282 injured have been reported since 26 March. Large numbers of people from Aden and Sana’a are reportedly travelling to areas outside of each city. 88 Yemenis have arrived in Somalia and Djibouti by boat.

What are the humanitarian needs?

Due to the deteriorating security levels, it is more and more difficult for humanitarian workers to access the most affected areas, making it increasingly challenging to evaluate and respond to the needs of affected Yemenis as time passes. A core challenge for humanitarian workers is to collect essential data and information on the situation with such limited access.

Humanitarian actors working in the country urgently need to respond to the mass casualty situation, provide protection to vulnerable Yemenis, and provide emergency access to basics for survival like clean water, toilets and other essentials for maintaining a minimum level of hygiene and sanitation in the midst of crisis. The internally displaced people also urgently need food and other essential items. In a worst case scenario, damage to buildings and infrastructure could lengthen the period of displacement while entire neighborhoods are repaired and rebuilt before people can return home.

Access to medical supplies and fuel shortages: a major concern

Access to medical supplies, fuel, and water are considered to be in short supply. This is of major concern in hospitals that are trying to handle mass casualties and cannot do so without supplies. The ICRC has called for a 24-hour break in the conflict to deliver medical and other supplies which has seemingly been approved.

Fuel shortages reported in a number of governorates are likely to threaten water networks. Meanwhile, food prices are thought to be rising, especially for wheat (up to 40% increase in the west). Local authorities are ordering vendors to keep prices at previous levels and not hoard food supplies. Yemen is reliant on international entry points for imports of food due to a lack of capacity to produce internally. However, seaports and airports are largely blocked, although Al Hudaydah port is apparently still functioning amid an acute fuel shortage. ACTED is conducting a market survey in several areas during the week starting April 5th, and will continuously update and monitor prices from then onwards.

What is ACTED’s response to the crisis in Yemen?

Our teams were already present in the country providing humanitarian and development support in various regions before the start of the crisis. We are pursuing certain activities where it is possible and safe to do so.

In terms of response to the ongoing crisis, ACTED is leading the coordination of the humanitarian response to the food security situation. Our teams are working to collect data to feed into the humanitarian response at all levels. ACTED will also continue to monitor access so as to react as soon as areas are safe to enter.

Once meaningful data has been obtained, ACTED will rapidly use this information to set up targeted activities that will respond to the most urgently identified needs.