Yemen: Escalating Conflict Flash Update 19 | 27 April 2015

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 27 Apr 2015

Daily Key messages

Humanitarian partners only have fuel left for two more weeks of life-saving operations. Hospitals too will shut down in one week unless additional fuel becomes available. Fuel shortages in country and restrictions on imports mean that additional fuel is difficult to come by and can cost as much as US$10 per litre.

Overview

Two partners have temporarily evacuated their medical teams operating in Haradh hospital following heavy shelling in the town on 25 April. One team will be working in Hayran District in Hajjah, providing health services to IDPs living in the district. Another partner has suspended services at a medical centre and relocated its health team to Abs District. Meanwhile, armed clashes and artillery fire prevented the distribution of food to IDPs around Al Mazraq area on 25 April. The plan is to request IDPs to come to other nearby distribution points, but partners are concerned that it will be difficult for IDPs to transport the food due to critical fuel shortage.

The Health Cluster reported that on 25 April some equipment was looted during an attack on the local health office in Taizz. The equipment included two equipped ambulances, two mobile clinic vehicles with supplies, one car, three government licence plates and other undetermined items. The Ministry of Health has appealed for help from authorities to recover the stolen items. WHO is concerned about the high risk facing immunization supplies stored in the office and warehouse.

In Sa’ada, the Ministry of Health has asked for assistance for 1,000 people who have reportedly been trapped in Al Mashnaq area, Sheda’a District, without food or medicine for more than 16 days. The letter also requests support to remove nine bodies in the Al Mashnaq market. It said the local health facility was bombed displacing staff. The area is currently inaccessible due to insecurity.

In the last 24 hours, airstrikes were reported in Aden governorate, Abyan and Al Dhale’e. Clashes continued between militias in Aden. In Sana’a, airstrikes hit two military camps in Khwlan and Arhab districts, farms in Zabid District in Al Hudaydah, and warehouses belonging to a prominent mineral water company (Shamlan) in Taizz City. In Lahj, a bus carrying civilians was reportedly hit on 26 April. Earlier, four vehicles carrying food in Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah District were reportedly hit as well as several targets in Ibb and Sa'ada.

On 26 April, clashes between militias were reported in most districts in Aden, Zinjibar and Lawder districts of Abyan, as well as several districts in Lahj and Al Dhale’e. The clashes have reportedly heightened displacement in these governorates. Fighting was also reported in Marib and Taizz, resulting in an unknown number of casualties. Mortar fire was reportedly directed at a hospital in Taizz, but the impact was not immediately clear.
In Sana’a, a security assessment is underway to pave the way for international staff to return.

Access and humanitarian response

Access

Al Hudaydah and Al Salifa ports in Al Hudaydah Governorate are functional, although shipping activity remains restricted. Between 23 and 26 April, three vessels, one carring 13,500 tonnes of rice, reached Al Hudaydah port and are waiting for clearance. Six more vessels carrying fuel, corn, vegetable oil, unrefined sugar, steel and timber are awaiting clearance from the coalition to dock at the nearby Salifa port.

Ongoing clashes in Aden governorate have limited humanitarian access to some areas in the district. A partner recently failed to reach their warehouse inside Al Jumhouria hospital in Khor Makser District because of snipers positioned around the building.

Response

Partners provided 2,000 litres of fuel (1,000 litres of diesel and 1,000 litres of petrol) to the Taizz health office to use in vaccination units, the Al Thawrah Hospital (in Taizz), and government ambulances. Al Hudaydah health office also received 16,000 litres of diesel.

Local authorities in Aden, Lahj, Abyan and Ad Dhale’e governorates have formed a committee to support, facilitate and coordinate the delivery of assistance. The committee aims to work with humanitarian partners and all other stakeholders.

On 26 April, food assistance has reached 192,000 people. Since 15 April, 384,000 people have received food assistance in seven governorates, namely Aden, Sana’a, Al Hudaydah, Hajjah, Al Mahmit, Dhamar, and Lahj. Distributions are proceeding slower than originally planned due to several challenges, including continued conflict, insecurity and fuel shortages.

In Shabwah, one partner is carrying out a needs assessment among IDPs and host community in Ataq and Assaeed districts. A report is expected at the end of the week.

An estimated 650 stranded people from the Horn of Africa are currently hosted at a migrant centre in Haradh. The stranded people receive two meals daily. In Aden, water pumps and tanks have been installed for Al Maalla health facility. The water tank and the pipes at Al Jumhouria hospital have also been fixed. The facilities were damaged during fighting on 22 April.
The refugee and mixed migration operation continues to function, albeit with reduced staff capacity and partners due to the overall security situation and fuel constraints. In Haradh, the organization is working with one partner to distribute non-food items to 400 families. Similar distribution will take place in Sa’ada as soon as a rapid assessment is completed.

On 22 April, 282 Somalis, 57 Yemenis and three Syrians who fled the conflict in Yemen arrived in Berbera Port, Somaliland, from Mukha port. The Somalis include some who are registered as refugees in Yemen.

The outpatient clinic in Basateen, Aden, received 60 medical cases on 26 April. However, the clinic is operating at reduced capacity. Since the escalation of hostilities in the area, around 2,000 Somali refugees from Basateen have moved to Kharaz IDP camp further south. From 20 to 24 April, 183 of the refugees (27 male and 156 female) from Basateen asked for assistance in the camp. Another 50 people (including nine children and two cases of sexual and gender-based violence) have received counselling.

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/.