Facts and Figures
24.1 million people in need
14.4 million in need of protection assistance
3.65 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 1.28 million returnees
46,660 families newly displaced in 2019
More than 80 per cent of IDPs have been displaced for over a year
274,478 refugees and asylum-seekers (mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia)
■ IDPs in Yemen: There are now more than 46,660 families who have been internally displaced in Yemen since the beginning of this year, according to IOM’s 16 June Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The IOM/DTM for June reported the highest numbers of displaced households in Hajjah (17,484 families), followed by Al Dhale’e (8,848 families) and Al Hudaydah (8,031 families). These displacements were a result of the on-going intense fighting and flash floods.
■ UNHCR’s emergency response to recently displaced IDPs: UNHCR and its partners continue to provide life-saving assistance to families fleeing from conflict. In the first six months of 2019, UNHCR and its partners distributed a total of 39,754 basic household items and non-food item (NFI) kits, 10,156 Emergency Shelter Kits (ESKs) and 513 Transitional Shelter Kits (TSKs). In the immediate aftermath of a displacement crisis, ESKs are a low cost, easily transportable temporary shelter solution for an average of six months until a longer term solution can be found. As for TSKs, UNHCR incorporates local materials which are adapted to the regional climate, displacement period and situation, with a considerably longer lifespan of up to five years. UNHCR is also currently piloting 192 Refugee Housing Units (RHU) in different regions in Yemen, to determine the sustainability and satisfaction of the structure by IDPs in different regions and climates. The RHUs have been designed in collaboration between UNHCR, the social enterprise Better Shelter and the IKEA Foundation.
■ Building community resilience and peaceful coexistence: UNHCR continues to focus on inclusive engagement of communities and social cohesion, addressing tensions that may exist between displaced persons and their host communities. UNHCR identifies and refers both IDPs and extremely vulnerable host community members to protection services, using its CommunityBased Protection Networks (CBPNs) that comprise over 200 members. The CBPNs also provide a bridge between humanitarian actors, the affected population and service providers through awareness raising, information dissemination and facilitation of community support projects. In the first half of 2019,
CBPNs identified and referred a total of 180,009 individuals for protection assessments to UNHCR protection partners. These identified individuals are then referred to the eight UNHCRmanaged community centre facilities in Hajjah, Hudaydah, Amran, Sa’ada, Al Jawf, Sana’a, Dhamar and Ibb, where there are high numbers of IDPs. As of 30 June, these eight community centres collectively assisted 16,370 individuals with legal assistance, 14,593 individuals with tailored support for psychosocial needs while 9,947 individuals were referred to specialized services such as medical care.
■ Cash-Based Interventions (CBIs) for protection and shelter needs: UNHCR Yemen has been implementing CBIs since 2016, with the sector rapidly expanding both in terms of numbers of families assisted and as a proportion of UNHCR’s total interventions. This year, CBIs remain a core activity for UNHCR’s operation in Yemen, consisting nearly half the annual planning budget. Until June, some 75,000 families have benefited from CBIs to address their shelter needs through rental subsidies, protection or seasonal needs in the form of multi-purpose cash for protection, or winter assistance grants. Some USD 14 million has been disbursed so far through 508 cash collection points. More than 40 per cent of the beneficiaries were in Al Hudaydah, Hajjah and Amanat Al Asimah, whilst more than half (57 per cent) of the CBIs were for IDP and vulnerable host communities’ rental subsidies, indicating that one-third of displaced families (some 1.2 million IDPs) are currently living in rented accommodation.
■ Protection assistance for refugees and asylum-seekers: Refugees and asylum-seekers in Yemen continue to face severe challenges due to the ongoing conflict, deteriorating socio-economic conditions, and nearly non-existent livelihood opportunities, which is compounded by discrimination, marginalisation and a shrinking protection space. Despite the circumstances, refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants continue to undertake the perilous journey towards the southern coastal governorates of Aden, Lahj and Abyan. Towards the end of April and the beginning of May, some five thousand new arrivals, mainly migrants, were detained across three governorates, with some 3,000 detained in a derelict stadium in Aden. Within the context of the Mixed Migration Working Group, UNHCR liaised closely with IOM and managed to secure the release a total of 62 refugees and asylum-seekers.
■ From January to June 2019, UNHCR supported 1,063 refugees and asylum-seekers with legal assistance, provided 246 legal representations in court and secured the release of a total of 209 detainees. Psychosocial support was also provided to 1,528 individuals. Registration of asylum seekers and renewal of registration documentation for refugees is crucial for establishing legal identity and facilitates refugees and asylum-seekers’ referrals to protection services and access to services such as healthcare and education. During the reporting period, 452 refugee and asylum-seeker children and 170 infants under 12 months received birth certificates. A total of 834 people including children living with mental disabilities received psychosocial therapy while 520 individuals living with disabilities received support such as assistive devices and enrolment in rehabilitation centres.
■ Unaccompanied and Separated Children (UASC) who approach UNHCR registration centres are supported with their asylum claims, are counselled and provided with options such as specialized care programmes. In the course of the first six months of 2019, a total of 2,124 refugee and asylum-seeker children were assisted through 86 Best Interest Assessments (BIA) and Best Interest Determinations (BID), ensuring that those in need of urgent attention were identified and addressed as swiftly as possible. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 544 UASCs were assisted and 116 children enrolled in foster care services.
■ UNHCR assists SGBV survivors with comprehensive case management. During the reporting period, 629 cases were assisted, including 391 survivors who received cash assistance, 71 survivors who received psychosocial counselling, 51 survivors who received legal assistance and 35 survivors who received medical assistance.
■ Durable solutions: UNHCR prioritises the search for durable solutions for refugees and offers Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) for Somalis and resettlement to third countries. Since 2017, 34 boats with 4,412 Somali refugees left Aden for Somalia through the ASR programme, with seven boats in the first six months of this year. During the reporting period, UNHCR assisted 51 refugees to depart from Yemen under its resettlement programme.
■ Registration for asylum-seekers and refugees: In November 2018, the Bureau for Refugee Affairs (BRA) resumed registration and documentation renewal activities for refugees and asylum-seekers in Sana’a following a two-year suspension whilst negotiations between UNHCR and the authorities were ongoing. As of June 2019, with UNHCR’s material and technical support, more than 3,000 expired certificates have been renewed and issued, and 2,069 Individuals have been registered. In the south, UNHCR continues with the registration and documentation of non-Somali asylum-seekers and refugees while supporting the government on registration and documentation for Somali refugees. By end of June, 3,880 refugees and asylum-seekers had their documents renewed, and 2,822 individuals were newly registered.
■ Health assistance for asylum-seekers, refugees and vulnerable host communities: UNHCR continues to respond to the medical needs of refugees, asylum-seekers and vulnerable host community members by supporting four government health facilities. During the first half of the year, UNHCR provided a total of 38,629 individuals with essential, non-communicable disease and psychotherapeutic medicines; 24 per cent of the patients were from the vulnerable host community, and an additional 4,322 individuals were referred to secondary or tertiary care. Cholera reemerged in 2019 and there were more suspected cholera cases in the first half of 2019 (461,547) than in the whole of 2018, exacerbated by heavy rains. In the first six months of the year, a total of 155 Yemenis and 145 refugees country-wide were diagnosed with cholera in the four health clinics supported by UNHCR. Thanks to the well-coordinated prevention and control efforts, all of these cases were successfully treated.
■ Protection Cluster The UNHCR-led Protection Cluster continues to monitor the impact of the conflict on civilians in Yemen and provide life-saving protection assistance and services. In the first three months of 2019, overall civilian casualties decreased by 30 per cent compared to the monthly average of one hundred in 2018. This was largely attributed to the welcomed developments in Hudaydah, where a ceasefire was brokered, though other governorates of Hajjah, Amran, and Shabwah experienced increases in civilian casualties. In Taizz, the level of civilian casualties doubled during January from the monthly average of 2018. The number of civilian impact incidents in Hajjah since the beginning of 2019 has also doubled in comparison to the monthly average in 2018, while the number of estimated casualties almost tripled.
■ The Protection Cluster is also providing intensive support to new partners in a nationwide scale-up of 28 additional community centres to allow the vulnerable – including children, SGBV survivors and persons with specific needs – greater access to a wide range of protection services including psychosocial support, protection, cash assistance, legal assistance, mine risk education, and livelihood support, among others. The Cluster has also developed area-based protection plans to address protection concerns at the sub-national level, reflecting the particular typology of needs, ranging from frontline conflict and trapped populations, to first-line responses to protection and displacement, IDP collective sites and community-based responses.
■ Shelter/NFI Cluster: The Cluster continued to respond to the growing needs of displaced families fleeing the conflict in Hajjah, Al Dhale’e, Taizz and neighbouring governorates. The heavy rains during May and June that affected more than 80,000 persons, strained UNHCR’s response as the last resort provider in situations where partners had limited capacity to mobilize resources in a timely manner. In the first half of the year, UNHCR and 42 Shelter/NFI partners reached close to one million IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host community members. By June, 458,421 persons were assisted with NFIs, 143,151 with ESKs, 239,510 persons were assisted with cash assistance for rental subsidies, 21,494 received or supported with the rehabilitation of their TSKs, 105,836 were provided with winter assistance cash grants and 2,000 individuals were supported with rehabilitation/reconstruction grants to address damage to their homes.
■ The Cluster also supported 1,174 individuals with livelihood grants and 5,142 with shelter upgrades. Despite the growing needs, the funding levels for both the Shelter Cluster and CCCM Cluster remain critically low with only six per cent funding by the of end of June, hampering the response plan.
In addition to a joint strategy developed with partners of both Clusters, methodologies for technical implementation have been harmonised across partners, technical standards of NFIs and shelter materials for distributions, and mechanisms of multi-sector aid coordination in IDP Hosting Sites.
■ Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster: UNHCR also leads the CCCM Cluster in Yemen in coordination with the local authorities. The Cluster supports partners with tools, guidance and capacity-building, to coordinate and manage IDP hosting sites effectively, addressing service gaps.
CCCM also emphasizes community engagement, participation and self-management in order to enhance social cohesion between displaced and hosting communities. For the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2019, the Cluster identified 489 IDP hosting sites with severe humanitarian needs out of 1,345 IDP identified hosting sites in Yemen, of which UNHCR is directly supporting 15 out of 88 sites prioritized under the Humanitarian Pooled Fund (HPF) 2019 with the coordination of services such as Shelter/NFI, Protection, WASH, Food, Health and Education. UNHCR through partners plans to assist a total of 258 IDP sites during the year, in partnership with local authorities and the Yemeni government. Countrywide, UNHCR is focusing on building capacity of the Cluster by deploying dedicated staff across Yemen.
■ Furthermore, with the activation of the CCCM Cluster, a referral and escalation database system is currently being put in place, alongside a nationwide site identification exercise and further efforts to mobilise partners to respond to CCCM needs in hot spot locations. For the South in particular, UNHCR in close coordination with the local authorities, will prioritize 700 IDP families in Aden, southern Taizz, Abyan and Hadramaut governorates until the end of this year who face eviction due to spontaneous IDP shelters being located on private land.