Yemen: Escalating Conflict - Yemen's Western Coast Flash Update | 07 February 2017 [EN/AR]

Situation Report
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Key messages

  • Escalating conflict in recent weeks has forced over 34,000 people to flee their homes inTaizz Governorate. Fighting and displacement have mainly been concentrated in Al Mukha and Al Dhubab districts.

  • The parties to the conflict must ensure the protection of an estimated 3,500 to 7,000 people still residing in the town of Al Mukha.

  • Humanitarian partners are mobilizing assistance in areas affected by fighting or hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Situation overview

Armed hostilities have increased substantially along Yemen’s western coast in recent weeks, including fierce fighting in the districts of Dhubab and Al Mukha in Taizz Governorate. Partners estimatethat more than 34,000 individuals (as of 5 February) have been forced to flee their homes across Taizz in search of safety and protection. About 60 per cent ofrecent Taizz IDPs have fled affected areas of Al Mukha and Al Dhubab districts, including most residents of Dhubab town and an estimated two-thirds of residents of Al Mukha town.

The vast majority of recent Taizz IDPs (84 per cent) have fled to safer areas within Taizz Governorate.
This includes 40 per cent of IDPs who remain within Dhubab and Al Mukha districts and 30 per cent who are sheltering in neighbouring Maqbanah or Mawza districts. Smaller numbers of recent Taizz IDPs have also been reported in southern Al Hudaydah (8 per cent of total) and Ibb, Lahj, Aden and Al Dhale’e (together accounting for another 8 per cent). The actual number of people displaced is likely to be higher, particularly in Al Hudaydah, as current figures are those that have been verified.

Many of the displaced were already vulnerable, with access to livelihoods in the area, especiallyfishing, severely affected by the conflict. For some, this is the second time they have been forced to flee their homes. Most are currently being hosted by relatives and friends, while others with the means to do so, are staying in rented accommodations. The most vulnerable have taken refuge in public or empty buildings, or are out in the open.

Between 3,500 and 7,000 people are still residing in Al Mukha town, which is experiencing heavy ground clashes, air strikes and sniperfire. Health facilities are not functioning, shops and markets are open for limited hours, and the water network operates sporadically due to lack of fuel and damage sustained to the main pumping station. Partners report that some residents would leave the town if they could, but either lack the financial means to do so, or have concerns over their safety, especially with reports ofsniper fire at exit points and the presence of landmines.

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