Humanitarian access in Yemen remains challenging; most access incidents remain driven by bureaucratic impediments, mainly by movement delays. Access challenges have been diverse. The first quarter of 2022 saw an increase in incidents that impacted the safety and security of aid workers. Humanitarians are working to adapt to these diverse challenges in order to deliver. Over the first quarter, humanitarian partners reported 701 access incidents in 100 districts within 21 governorates across Yemen, affecting 5.6 million people. Over 60 per cent of the reported access incidents in the first quarter pertained to bureaucratic constraints causing ‘Restriction of movement of organizations personnel or goods within Yemen’ imposed by the authorities. These include travel permit denials or delays and cancellations of missions and travel activities.
Movement restrictions were the predominant type of reported access incidents in the first quarter of 2022. Data shows an increase by 55 per cent, 159 more incidents compared to the last quarter of 2021. About 89 per cent of these incidents were recorded in Ansarullah (AA)-controlled areas. Operations in Sa'dah and Hajjah governorates remain challenging, some activities such as protection and gender-related programmes are rejected. Other areas demand hard to satisfy requirements like Mahram (a close male relative) to accompany female Yemeni aid workers when traveling on field missions, leading to the cancellation of field visits and aid deliveries. Restriction on the movement of organizations’ personnel or goods into Yemen improved significantly following advocacy by the humanitarian leadership. This quarter showed a decrease in restrictions, mainly in visa delays and denials, by about 66 per cent compared with the previous quarter (Q4 2021).
During the same period, interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities by the authorities in Yemen was frequently reported. A total of 63 interference incidents were reported in (Q1 2022, compared with 62 interference incidents in Q4 2021), most of which related to delays, denial and/or cancellation in the approval of project sub-agreements (38 incidents or 60.3 per cent). Some progress in expediting approvals was made in late 2021 and continued throughout the first quarter of 2022. Still, humanitarian partners continue to engage both the GoY and AA authorities to establish accountable and principled procedures for timely approvals of project sub-agreements. Suspension and disruption of humanitarian activities and interference in project design, activities and other elements of the programming process are reported by partners, with 32 incidents (51 per cent) attributed to AA authorities, while 17 incidents (27 per cent) were attributed to GoY and 14 incidents (22 per cent) to unknown armed elements.
Violence against humanitarian personnel assets and facilities continues to be a major issue for humanitarian partners, especially those who work in direct interaction with communities and armed actors. This quarter shows an increase of 79 per cent compared with the last quarter - 34 incidents were reported in this quarter and 19 in Q4 2021. The severity of these incidents (e.g., carjacking, kidnappings, intimidation, etc.) is far more serious and concerning than bureaucratic constraints and led to temporarily suspensions of movement and aid delivery in several governates whilst humanitarian advocacy and negotiations were ongoing
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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