Description of the disaster
Following a rainy season that was delayed in Yemen, many governorates have experienced and continue to experience rains of varying intensity accompanied by thunderstorms in recent weeks. The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) issued a rain warning for most of the country on 25 July, with authorities in Sana’a issuing similar alerts of heavy rains and flooding in the coming days. As of 7 August, YRCS branches reported that heavy rainfall and associated flooding had impacted up to 24,816 households across the country.
Floods have been reported in Dhamar, Amran, Al Mahwit, Marib, Ibb, Sana’a City, Sana’a, Hajjah, Al Hodeidah, Al Jawf, Al Bayda, Al Dhale, Al Mahra, Raymah, and Hadramout governorates, since the start of the rainy season, causing loss of life and property. The majority of flood-related information is still preliminary, as clusters and partners conduct detailed assessments. Shelter, household items, food assistance, clean water, and health and care services have been identified as immediate needs. The various organizations and agencies have also reported significant challenges in reaching the affected population as most roads are blocked by floodwater.
Summary of the current response
Overview of operating National Society Response Action Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS) has a nationwide presence in Yemen, with 22 branches in the different governorates across the country. Disaster Management (DM) services are a priority for YRCS including disaster and crisis preparedness and response. With more than 8,000 volunteers throughout the territory, YRCS has the capacity to reach most of the territory and engage in first response actions such as evacuations, first aid, or supporting distributions of essential items.
During the present floods, YRCS activated its national emergency protocol for coordination with those branches in all the affected areas, mobilizing up to 200 volunteers to date who have been participating in activities, such as rapid assessment, First Aid, evacuation, ambulance service, and psycho-social support, with deployments and assessments supported by the YRCS Emergency Response Fund (ERF), and complemented by the prepositioned relief items1 held at branches and YRCS regional warehouses. Since July 2021,
YRCS has been responding with assessments and distributions of food and household items such as kitchen sets, mattresses, blankets, and jerry cans, as well as hygiene kits, in all of the flood-affected governorates, reaching a total of 1,272 households.
On 2 August, the YRCS Dhamar branch conducted a rapid assessment and issued an urgent request for the deployment of an additional 331 relief kits (covering food and household items as well as hygiene kits) to support an increase in identified needs due to ongoing rains and subsequent floods on 1 August. Additional requests for support were made in the days that followed, and the weather forecast2 predicts more heavy rains and flooding in the governorates of Amran, Al Mahwit, Dhamar, and Ibb over the next 10 days, up to 17 August 2021.
Meanwhile, YRCS has prepositioned stocks of relief kits in headquarters, in addition to those assigned to branches, a total of 4,500 kits, with 1,272 already distributed. According to the initial assessment figures being verified and those in the pipeline, the standing quantities of the stock are planned to cover current gaps, but the estimated number of households expected to require assistance exceeds the capacity of standing stock. Therefore, urgent replenishment of available stocks, as well as further distributions, is required. The request from Dhamar prompted the YRCS to convene a task force meeting with the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (Movement) partners in and outside the country on 8 August, and in coordination with available support to date, to launch a request for DREF support to replenish stocks distributed and to be distributed in the coming days.