Yemen

Yemen: Escalating Conflict Flash Update 2 | 2 April 2015 (18.00)

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

Overview

Air strikes and armed conflict have continued since 31 March, with strikes reported in different parts of Sana’a, Sa’ada, Hajjah, Hudaydah, Ibb and Taizz Governorates in the north, and Aden, Al Dhale’e and Abyan in the south. Armed clashes continued in Al Dhale’e and parts of Lahj, and have intensified significantly in Aden. As of 18.00, heavy clashes were continuing in central Aden City. Reports from local partners and local media indicate that parties to the conflict were shooting indiscriminately in densely populated civilian areas. Power and water supplies in the south remain affected. In Aden, residents report power outages of 16 hours or more. In Al Hawta District of Lahj, no public electricity or water services have been available since 25 March.

Civilian casualties

As of late 31 March, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that violence in Yemen had killed 519 people and injured 1,699 since 19 March – many of them civilians. In Al Dhale’e, a volunteer health worker was shot dead in a hospital compound on 1 April; this incident was condemned by the Humanitarian Coordinator. Following an air strike in Al Hudaydah, 29 workers at a dairy and juice factory were killed, and 23 injured. Heavy fighting in Aden appears to be taking a substantial toll on civilian lives and wellbeing. Casualty estimates will rise as additional reports are verified. According to international humanitarian law, all parties to conflict are legally obligated to do everything in their power to avoid civilian casualties.

Civilian infrastructure

Violence over the last two days has affected civilian infrastructure. According to reports from local partners, the following civilian installations have come under fire or been hit by air strikes since 31 March: two medical facilities (Aden and Al Dhale’e), four schools (Al Dhale’e and Abyan), two factories (Lahj and Hajjah), one bridge (Hajjah) and one power station (Sa’ada). Private homes also continue to be affected, particularly by heavy fighting in Aden. Additional reports have been received of impact on civilian infrastructure and are still being verified. According to international humanitarian law, all parties to conflict are legally obligated to refrain from targeting or commandeering civilian infrastructure.

Displacement

Mass displacement is reportedly taking place as of 18.00 from Aden, particularly Khormaksar and Crater Districts, as people flee very heavy fighting. Displacement is also reportedly increasing into Abyan (from Lahj and Aden) and Amran (from Sana’a and Sa’ada). Reliable estimates are not available, as population movements remain extremely fluid. However, movements in the north remain considerably less than in the south. According to UNHCR, 59 Yemenis have been confirmed as having arrived by boat in Djibouti (27) and Somalia (32).

Priority humanitarian needs

Immediate crisis needs remain mainly concentrated in the health, WASH and protection sectors, with the most urgent priority being mass casualty management. Fuel shortages are being increasingly reported in numerous locations, including Sana’a and Aden. Hospitals – particularly in Aden – are often overwhelmed by casualties and rely on fuel to ensure electricity. Al Jumuhuriya Hospital in Aden has had to rely on donations for diesel, which will likely not be sustainable. Sanitation at hosptials is becoming a major concern.

Access and humanitarian response

Humanitarian partners continue to prioritize support for mass casualty management. This includes efforts to secure basic supplies (including beds, sanitation supplies, medicine, treatment kits and water tanks) and fuel for hospitals. Serious challenges persist in ensuring the ability to import humanitarian supplies into Yemen. Resolving these challenges is essential to response efforts, and discussions continue with parties to the conflict. Partners are also undertaking in-country procurement of available medical supplies. Movement within conflict areas in the south remains extremely difficult. Partners are investigating options for water-trucking into affected areas, mainly in Lahj and Al Dhale’e. A more detailed operational update by sector will appear in the full Situation Report to be published tomorrow.

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