Yemen + 2 more

Yemen: Escalating Conflict Flash Update 12 | 15 April 2015 (10.00)

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Assessment findings show that conflict has significantly exacerbated humanitarian needs for millions of affected people in Yemen.

Overview Localized conflict between Government forces, militants, tribal fighters and other parties has spread since mid-March in nine Governorates in Yemen, including Al Dhale'e, Aden, Taizz, Hadramaut, Marib, Shabwah, Abyan, Lahj, Al Bayda. At the same time, airstrikes have since 26 March hit targets in 18 of Yemen’s 22 Governorates, including Sana'a City (Amanat Al Asimah), Sana'a Governorate, Ibb, Taizz, Marib, Al Jawf, Al Bayda, Aden, Al Dhale'e, Abyan, Shabwah, Dhamar, Al Mahwit, Al Hudaydah, Sa'ada, Amran, Hajjah and Lahj. So far, Socotra, Hadramaut, Al Maharah, and Raymah Governorates have not been targeted. The expansion in violence has forced thousands more people to flee their homes.

Assessments Preliminary findings of rapid needs assessments in Hajjah and Aden indicate that recent conflict has significantly exacerbated humanitarian needs. In Hajjah Governorate, needs are spread across virtually the entire population and revolve around basic life-saving and protection requirements. Priority needs include food, water and sanitation, and shelter. In Aden, the top three priorities are safety, food, and water and sanitation. The detailed findings from both assessments are being analyzed and will be shared by close of the week.

Casualties The latest casualty reports from WHO show that 731 people were killed and 2,754 injured in escalating violence from 19 March to 12 April 2015. All parties to conflict are bound by international humanitarian law to do everything in their power to protect civilians.
Population movement A total of 1,260 people fleeing conflict in Yemen have arrived in Djibouti and Somalia over the past two weeks, according to UNHCR. Most arrivals in Djibouti are Yemenis. UNHCR and partners are making contingency plans to receive up to 30,000 refugees in Djibouti and 100,000 in Somalia over the next six months.

Protection OHCHR has received and documented reports of the impact of theYemen conflict on civilians and infrastructure. As a result, the organization is urging all parties to ensure that attacks resulting in civilian casualties are promptly investigated and that international human rights and international humanitarian law are scrupulously respected. According to OHCHR, eight hospitals have been hit in Sana’a, Sa’ada, Al Dhale'e and Aden. Also hit are17 schools and educational institutions in Aden, Al Dhale’e, Hajjah, Ibb and Sana’a; the three main national airports in Sana’a, Aden and Al Hudaydah, and the main power station in Sa’ada; bridges, factories, farmlands and five mosques in Al Dhale’e and Sa’ada.

Access and humanitarian response Access The suspension of commercial flights to Yemen continues to limit access for international humanitarian staff in and out of the country, according to the Logistics Cluster. Yemen airspace remains closed and regional airspace is limited for air movements into Yemen. Operations at sea ports too are restricted. Shipping vessels are not allowed into Yemen unless inspected and approved. On 13 April, the world’s largest shipping association advised vessels to transit the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea outside Yemeni territorial waters.

Response Two humanitarian flights landed in Sana’a on 14 April. One flight chartered by IOM evacuated 148 stranded third country nationals from 13 countries to Khartoum, Sudan. On 12 April, another flight evacuated 143 people. IOM has received requests from 38 countries to evacuate their nationals and believes that up to 16,000 are stranded in Yemen.

The other flight, which arrived on 14 April, delivered nearly 92 tonnes of nutrition, health and water and sanitation supplies for UNICEF to Sana’a. This was the second UNICEF flight this week. Part of the shipments are intended for Aden, although access by road and by sea is currently extremely difficult.
According to UNICEF, armed clashes in southern Yemen have inhibited the delivery of supplies to areas with the greatest need. For example, UNICEF has not been able to deliver vital cleaning materials to Al Jamhouri hospital due to insecurity.

Due to shortages of ambulances, WHO is coordinating with the Ministry of Public Health and Population to redistribute available ambulances to governorates with the largest numbers of injured patients. However, more ambulances are urgently needed to ensure effective trauma management and timely referrals.
In coordination with local authorities, 29 community volunteers in Al Dhale’e (16), Abyan (five) and Lahj (eight) are conducting awareness-raising on mine risk education, hygiene and child protection. The volunteers have reached over 134 families including IDPs in Al Dhale’e and Lahj, and aim to reach 8,000 people within coming weeks. Community volunteers are also spreading similar messages through a mobile outpatient therapeutic programme in Shabwah.

Many schools remain closed throughout the country, but 529 displaced children from Taizz, Aden, Lahj,
Sana’a, Al Hudaydah, Ibb have been reintegrated into schools in five districts in Taizz. Discussions are on-go ing to arrange for these children to take their final exams in the absence of their official certificates.
WFP, in response to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen, is immediately launching food distribution to an initially estimated 105,000 displaced peopple in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, and Shabwa governorates. Today,
WFP has started food distribution for 1,750 people in Al Mansoorah District in Aden.

Immediate gaps

Electricity and fuel shortages are threatening the safety of vaccines and cold chain items at a total value of US$10 million. Throughout the country, cars queue outside petrol stations for days to collect fuel. In Taizz, most petrol stations have disassembled their pumps. In Al Hudaydah, petrol is only available on the black market at 10 times the normal market price (25,000 YR per 20 litres – approx. $116). There is an urgent need to ensure fuel is available for the cold chains.

Security of humanitarian assets continues to be a major challenge. In Aden, partners reported on 14 April that Al Houthi forces entered the local health office and took a vehicle belonging to WHO, in the second such incident this week. The matter is being followed up with the relevant authorities.

For further information, please see:

http://www.humanitarianresponse.info/operations/yemen,

http://www.unocha.org/yemen

Or contact:

Ogoso Erich, Public Information Officer, OCHA Yemen, Tel: +962 795 203 158, E-mail: ogoso@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.