Yemen

Yemen External Situation Report #33 - March 8, 2016

Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

FAST FIGURES

  • 14.4 million people in Yemen are food insecure

  • At least 2.5 million people are internally displaced

  • Conflict has led to more than 6,200 deaths, including 2,900 civilians, since March 2015

  • More than 29,000 people have been injured since March 2015

SITUATION AT A GLANCE

  • International staff reach Aden after a long absence

  • International Medical Corps expands WASH activities

  • International Medical Corps teams tackle malaria and dengue in Aden and Lahj

SITUATION UPDATE

Yemen’s civilian population continues to face countless challenges as conditions in the country worsen after 10 months of renewed conflict, leading UN UnderSecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien to label the situation an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe. An estimated 21.2 million people in Yemen are in need of some kind of humanitarian relief, including health care, food, and access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Since airstrikes began in mid-March 2015, more than 6,200 people—including 2,900 civilians—have been killed and another 29,000 people injured. Airstrikes, bombings, and other violence have decimated Yemen’s health system, with approximately 600 health facilities closed across the country due to damage, lack of supplies, or absence of staff, according to the UN. Attempts to resolve the Yemen conflict through UNsponsored peace talks have stalled since mid-January.

Insecurity remains a key hurdle in the southern governorate of Aden, where militias and militant groups continue to challenge the authority of progovernment forces and the Saudi-led Coalition, which regained control of Aden from Al Houthi rebels in July 2015. Fighting, kidnappings, assassinations, carjackings, bombings, and other hazards have made Aden a difficult operational environment for relief actors, and most organizations have operated without international staff in Aden since mid-2015. After a 10-month hiatus, international personnel from International Medical Corps were able to travel to Aden in midFebruary.

International Medical Corps’ Yemen country director visited two hospitals, Al Sadaqa and Al Jumhouria. Al Sadaqa, located in an insecure area of Ash Shaikh Outhman District, recently reopened with assistance from International Medical Corps following several months of closure due to conflict damage, during which period the hospital served intermittently as a shelter for internally displaced persons (IDPs). International Medical Corps provides medical supplies and equipment, as well as salary incentives for 80 percent of Al Sadaqa staff, to help keep the hospital functioning. At Al Jumhouria—one of the main referral hospitals in the area—patients with conflict-related injuries packed the emergency ward. International Medical Corps’ Yemen country director also traveled to Lahj, where he met with local authorities. The five-day, overland trip to Aden and Lahj underscored the difficulty of transporting assistance from Sana’a to southern Yemen and within Aden itself, as routes featured numerous checkpoints that marked the frontlines of territory controlled by one party or another. International Medical Corps is exploring alternative ways to reach Aden, such as by boat or by air.
In Taizz City, humanitarian organizations continue to negotiate with conflict parties to access areas of Al Mudhaffar, Al Qahirah, and Salh districts, where approximately 200,000 people have limited access to assistance and are living under siege conditions. After several months of effort, UN agencies, international organizations, and others successfully gained permission to enter the city in mid-February, delivering critical items such as family food rations; medicine, oxygen, and emergency medical supplies for hard-to-reach hospitals; and basic household items like blankets and mattresses. The humanitarian community continues to advocate with conflict parties for sustained, unrestricted access to Taizz. However, airstrikes are a continuous threat for civilians and relief workers, as are shelling, sniper fire, and other hazards. International Medical Corps staff in Yemen note that wounded individuals are often unable to access clinics and hospitals for assistance due to clashes and the difficulties of crossing the frontlines of fighting, leading medical personnel to provide emergency care in homes and other alternative locations.