Yemen: Escalation of armed clashes and airstrikes in Sana’a City - Flash Update 2 | 7 December 2017
While clashes in the streets of the capital subsided, airstrikes were reported on 5 and 6 December. A tense calm has returned to parts of Sana’a, allowing some civilians to venture outside their residences to seek medical care and supplies. Others have decided to leave the city in search of safety, concerned over how the security situation may evolve. Some residents are still reluctant to leave their homes, despite the need to re-stock and seek assistance in fear of renewed fighting or new airstrikes.
On 6 December, humanitarian organisations were able to conduct limited movements to begin to assess the situation in Sana’a. Some support, in the form of fuel and medical supplies, has been provided to hospitals. On 7 December, critical humanitarian staff resumed working from their offices.
Houses and shops sustained significant damage during the fighting in recent days. Many shops in areas of the capital that were heavily affected by conflict remain closed, but shops outside these areas have opened for short periods of time. Banks are limiting cash withdrawals from ATMs. The prices of some key commodities, such as fuel and cooking gas, have increased.
The situation in most other governorates has not significantly changed.
General situation in Sana’a
• Humanitarian movements and operations in Sana’a have been limited. On 7 December, UN essential staff members reported to their offices. All roads connecting Sana’a city are open.
• Some humanitarian organizations have temporarily reduced their staff presence until the situation stabilizes. On 5 December, UNHAS transported 121 passengers out of Sana’a (55 INGO and 66 UN) while 13 passengers left Al Hudaydah by boat. UNHAS flights are continuing to rotate staff. On 7 December, 12 humanitarian staff left Aden while eight went into Aden. Another eight humanitarian staff left Sana’a while four came into Sana’a. UNHAS will operate twice a week to Sana’a and to Aden in the coming period.
• The ICRC reports that, as of 6 December, at least 234 people have been killed and 486 have been injured in Sana’a and northern governorates.
• The price of petrol in the city has increased from 8,200 YER per 20 liter jerrycan to 10,000 YER per 20 liter jerrycan. However, there are four stations that are selling petrol at 6,000 YER per 20 liter jerrycan.People are lining up in long queues around these stations to benefit from the price difference.
The price of cooking gas has increased by almost 15 per cent (from 4,700 YER for 20 liter cylinder to 5,400 for 20 liter cylinder).
• Schools and public offices remain closed; some offices in the Ministry of Public Health and Population started working on 6 December. Trucks were finally dispatched to start collecting garbage, which had not been the case since 1 December, threatening a further spread of cholera.
• Health workers in Sana’a are concerned that the overall security situation continues to make access to warehouses and health centres difficult. Some residents who have been injured are able to go to the Al Sabain, Al Joumhouri and Al Thawrah hospitals to receive treatment. Public hospitals are struggling to manage trauma cases and need medicines, medical supplies and fuel. Al Mutawakel and the YemeniGermany hospitals are in critical need of oxygen. Al Sabeen hospital has requested support for the emergency ward.
• Save the Children has identified two health centers that can provide trauma treatment, namely the Gaa Alrigaa and the Alhifa health centers in Sana’a. One partner (Marafi Al Yaman) is offering to transport patients who need to go to referal hospitals. WHO has provided Al Joumhouri hospital with 4,900 liters of fuel. An ICRC team has delivered 40,000 litres of fuel to the Al Joumhouri and the Al Kuwait hospitals to help keep life-saving services running.
General situation in other Governorates
• Aden Governorate: The situation in Sana’a has not had a significant impact on humanitarian operations in the Governorate. No dramatic change in the security situation, which remains unstable, has been reported. The Taizz–Aden road is open through At-Turbah city.
• Al Bayda Governorate: The situation in Sana’a has not had a significant impact on humanitarian operations in the Governorate. The main road to Dhamar and Sana’a city is open and civilians can pass through it. Some families have left Sana’a city and gone to their home villages in Al Bayda.
• Al Hudaydah Governorate: Fuel shortages are reported in the western governorates. Fuel prices have increased during the past couple of days reaching 10,000 YER for 20 liter jerrycan. The authorities in Al Hudaydah have asked for supplies to support renal operations at the main dialysis center in Hudaydah city. Available supplies will cover only eight sessions compared to the 120 sessions that were performed daily. WHO is arranging to provide Al Joumhouri hospital in Al Hudaydah, with 2,000 bottles of Ringer lactate and 300 blood bags from the local market. On 7 December, fighting has been reported in the town of Al Khoukhah, with concerns over potential displacement.
• Al Mahwit Governorate: WHO is arranging to provide the city hospital with 2,000 bottles of Ringer lactate and 300 blood bags from the local market.
• Amran Governorate: Distribution of nutrition supplies was not implemented due to movement restrictions in Sana’a. The main road to Sana’a City is open and civilians can pass. Airstriles struck Al Amashiyah and Harf Sufyan district on 4 December. No casualties were reported.
• Dhamar Governorate: The Local Water and Sanitation Corporation has reported that it is running out of diesel to pump drinking water. Humanitarian actors are following up to assess if fuel can be provided. Civilians can pass thorough the main road linking Dhamar with Sana’a city.
• Hajjah Governorate: Humanitarian partners have put their operations on hold, including cash transfer activities to an estimated 8,450 beneficiaries in Abs district. Al Joumhouri hospital in Hajjah was damaged by an airstrike that landed less than 100m away from the premises affecting the emergency room, the operating theatre and the intensive care unit. Despite the damage, 12 patients were evacuated and medical personnel were able to treat 22 casualties from the airstrikes. WHO is arranging to provide the hospital with 2,000 bottles of Ringer lactate and 300 blood bags from the local market.
• Ibb Governorate: The situation remains relatively calm. Humanitarian operations were affected by the events in Sana’a as most of the implementing partners remained in lockdown. However, some partners are working through mobile clinics in Mawz’a and Mukha areas, and these have continued.
• Marib Governorate: Ground fighting between Ansar Allah and Hadi-affiliated forces was reported in Sirwah district on 6 December, with casualties from both sides. The main road linking Marib and Sana’a city has been closed for nearly two years because of conflict and insecurity.
• Sa’ada Governorate: Airstrikes killed six civilians who were travelling in a car in Munabbih district. A planned UNHCR field monitoring visit to Munnabih district on 4 December was cancelled as the team was unable to travel from Sana’a.
• Taizz Governorate: The security situation remains tense. Humanitarian workers were advised to work from home for security reasons.