In mid-January, approximately 2,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) briefly returned to the city of Zinjibar, Abyan Governorate’s capital, to assess property damage, according to international media. The IDPs, who were displaced to neighboring governorates in 2011 due to heavy fighting between militant groups and Republic of Yemen Government (RoYG) forces, were unable to remain in Zinjibar due to continued insecurity. Relief agencies estimate that insecurity displaced more than 40,000 Zinjibaris in 2011.
The RoYG had dismantled some checkpoints and military posts in Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a, as of late December, potentially improving humanitarian access and movement within the city, according to the U.N. Such actions are in accordance with the terms of the political transition agreement signed by President Ali Abdullah Saleh in November.
In October, a series of attacks on Yemen’s primary oil pipeline in Marib Governorate forced the closure of Yemen’s main refinery in the city of Aden, contributing to acute fuel shortages and elevated commodity prices countrywide that persisted into January. In response, the Logistics Cluster—the coordinating body for logistics activities—is providing fuel to humanitarian organizations to continue operations. In the first half of January, the Logistics Cluster distributed 7,600 liters of fuel to humanitarian organizations. In addition, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has pledged to provide a new donation of 500,000 tons of oil products to alleviate fuel shortages, according to international media. In 2011, the KSA donated 3 million barrels of crude oil to Yemen.
To address Yemen’s continuing humanitarian needs, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided nearly $1.8 million in mid-January to non-governmental organization International Medical Corps (IMC) for health, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in Sana’a Governorate. To date in FY 2012, the U.S. Government (USG) has provided nearly $14.8 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen, including nearly $1.8 million from USAID/OFDA, $11.5 million from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP), and $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM).
USAID/OFDA and State/PRM continue to implement FY 2011 activities in agriculture and food security, economic recovery and market systems (ERMS), health, humanitarian coordination and information management, logistics and relief commodities, nutrition, and WASH, targeting approximately 400,000 IDPs and other vulnerable individuals throughout Yemen.