Yemen + 2 more

Yemen: Escalating Conflict Flash Update 13 | 19 April 2015 (10.00)

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Humanitarian partners urgently require US$274 million to meet the immediate life-saving needs of 7.5 million conflict-affected people over the next three months.

Overview

Today the Yemen Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Amman, Jordan, released the Flash Appeal (FA) for US$274 million to meet the urgent needs of 7.5 million people affected by escalating conflict in Yemen over the next three months. The acting HC acknowledged an announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that they would provide the overall funding to cover the appeal, but urged other donors to provide more support to meet increasing needs across the country. The acting HC appealed strongly for humanitarian access to enable partners to deliver supplies and move staff into Yemen, so that assistance can reach all people in need.

During the past 24 hours, airstrikes have struck Sa’ada, Sana’a, Aden and Lahj governorates. In Sana’a City, the Faj Attan area was hit. In Sana’a, a technical institute in Jihanah District was also subject to strikes. In Sa’ada City, a local market was hit, as were locations in Saqayn, Sahar, and Kitaf wa Al Boqe'e districts. A humanitarian storage facility used by Oxfam in the city was reportedly destroyed by an airstrike. In Marib Governorate, a military brigade and telecommunications network were hit near Heylan Mountain.

Clashes continued between militants in Sirwah District, Marib, on 18 April. In Aden, intense battles continued in several areas. Heavy mortar shelling was reported in Hafoon and Hogaif areas, damaging several residences. There are reports of indiscriminate shelling of houses, restricting civilian movements. In Al Hawtah, Lahj, clashes were reported near the Ibn Khaldoon hospital, health office and the Central Security Forces camp. Local sources said people living near Ibn Khaldoon and the Central Security Forces camp were asked by militias to evacuate their homes, as parties to the conflict were using them to locate snipers.

Al Thawrah public hospital in Sana'a is facing serious fuel and oxygen shortages and may close down in the next 48 hours. On 18 April, the Ministry of Public Health and Population said the only oxygen generating plant in Yemen had ceased to function due to lack of fuel. The plant which is located in Sana'a City is the main source of oxygen for Yemeni hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Yemen Supreme Board of Drugs said it has received numerous complaints from drug importers, citing that no shipments had arrived in Yemeni markets. The Board said that none of the shipments had been released thus far despite the fact that the market is in critical need for drugs, in particular lifesaving drugs.

Displacement and casualties

The Norwegian Refugee Council estimates that over 10,000 families are newly displaced by escalating conflict in Hajjah, Al Hudaydah and Abyan governorates. Around 3,500 of these families are living in open spaces or in tents and other improvised shelters. Many lost all their belongings. In total, at least 150,000 people are estimated to have been displaced across Yemen since March 2015. Access and humanitarian response

Response

A plane carrying 68 tonnes of urgent medical aid and staff for MSF landed in Sana'a on 18 April. Last week, several flights landed in Sana’a delivering medical and other supplies. Two flights evacuated third country nationals to Khartoum.

WFP, through a local partner, continues its food distribution in Aden. So far 1,200 households have been assisted in Mansoura and Sheikh Othman, as well as IDPs in two schools (Farsi and 30 November School). IOM distributed non-food items to 50 households at the 30 November and Al Fajr schools in Al Mansoura District. WHO continues to support health units in Aden, where access to hospitals is difficult and dangerous on account of snipers and continued clashes between belligerents in the city.

In Lahj, UNICEF, through a local partner, is providing daily water trucking of 17,000 litres to 2,200 people affected by conflict. Beneficiaries have been reached at Alwaht School, Al Hamra mosque, Thaalab School, Al Maghafa in Al Huseenat Mosque and Al Maghafa Albaqer in Al Hawtah District. IOM is also trucking water in Abyan to schools that are hosting IDPs, and has started distributing non-food items to 80 households living in the open.

In collaboration with partners in Sa'ada, OCHA is planning an inter-agency assessment in the Al Safra'a and Sahar districts. The assessment is expected to commence on 20 April if the security situation permits. Meanwhile, Save the Children International completed needs assessments in five districts of Amran. The report is expected to be shared by 20 April, after which the AHCT will convene to discuss the priority needs identified and plan the response.

Immediate gaps

In Aden, corpses are still found on streets, and present a serious threat of disease. Meanwhile, food availability is a major concern for the general population; food scarcity is also a major concern in Lahj for both IDPs and their host communities. Flour is not available. Rice, sugar and oil are available but prices have doubled. There are also severe shortages of cooking gas, kerosene, petrol and diesel.

Due to access constraints in Abyan, no humanitarian aid can be transported from Aden to Abyan. An estimated caseload of 4,000 displaced households are in dire need of food, burdening host communities and coping mechanisms. The Governor of Abyan has requested immediate food aid to these people.

Al Dhale’e is becoming the “forgotten governorate” of the conflict. An estimated 9,000 households have been left with no assistance to date. The main hospital (Al Nasr Hospital) has no electricity and fuel. Health units have only basic medical supplies; food is scarce, and water, electricity and telecommunication networks are not disabled or challenged. OCHA continues to work with local partners to try to find alternative routes to deliver food assistance as access from Aden is difficult. Possible alternatives include delivering assistance via Dhammar-Ibb into Al Dhale’e.

Shelter is a major problem in Lahj and many families have now moved into schools and health facilities where they feel safer. These families previously lived in mud houses; their homes now destroyed by the conflict.

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, Email – ogoso@un.org

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