Yemen: Escalating Conflict Situation Report No. 1 (as of 31 March 2015)
Conflict has escalated significantly in Yemen since 23 March, when clashes between Houthi fighters and other parties intensified mainly in the south. On 26 March, air strikes began to hit Houthi targets and military installations, primarily in Sana’a and Sa’ada before expanding to other Governorates. As of 31 March, 13 of Yemen’s 22 Governorates were affected.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), escalating violence has killed 361 people and injured 1,345 – many of whom are civilians. Casualty reports are often underestimates of true number of casualties. Displacement is also rising quickly. Overall displacement estimates could not be verified.
Conflict has had an impact on civilian infrastructure – including an IDP camp that was hit by an air strike in Hajjah Governorate on 30 March, killing 29 civilians and injuring 40. Indiscriminate shelling in Al Dhale’e and Lahj has damaged or destroyed two schools, two mosques and many houses.
Immediate humanitarian needs are for mass casualty management, protection and WASH services. In the south, reported fuel shortages are threatening people’s access to water. Partners in Aden estimate water services could be cut off within three to five days unless more fuel is provided to power water pumps. In Lahj, electricity and water services have not been functioning for several days. Response efforts are focusing on supporting mass casualty management. Access has been severely constrained by ongoing clashes in the south and the unpredictability of air strikes in the north.