Humanitarian partners reported 624 access incidents in November and December across 76 districts in 17 governorates in Yemen. This is a slight decrease on the number of incidents in October and November, when 759 incidents were reported. The decrease is largely a result of an increase in the number of NGO sub-agreements approved by the authorities, – mainly the sub-agreements that have been outstanding the longest – and a reduction in humanitarian operations during the end-of-year holiday.
Restrictions on the movement of humanitarian organizations, personnel and goods within and into Yemen continued to be the most widely reported constraint for the humanitarian operation, with 439 incidents reported. In northern governorates, partners reported ad hoc and arbitrary requirements for national female staff members to travel with a mahram (a male family member), particularly in Al Hudaydah, Hajjah and Sa’ada governorates. As a result, humanitarian missions were detained at checkpoints, female staff members were harassed and intimidated, and the distribution of life-saving aid was suspended and delayed. In southern governorates, there were continued reports of personnel and cargo movements being blocked, including incidents where staff were detained and arbitrary requests for payments, on key access routes in Aden, Taizz and Abyan governorates.
Another major constraint was continued interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities by the Yemeni authorities. Over 172 incidents were reported, most of which related to long-standing challenges around delays and denials of NGO project sub-agreements (SAs) and associated attempts to arbitrarily interfere in project design. Notably, in Al Hudaydah Governorate, partners reported arbitrary demands by the local authorities for protected or sensitive information, ad hoc activity permits and changes to project design, which led to temporary suspensions of aid and service deliveries.
By the end of December, 78 NGO projects were reported to remain unimplemented, in part or in full, due to pending sub-agreements approvals. The pending projects targeted up to 4.7 million people in need and had a cumulative budget of US$167 million. During the reporting period, 44 SAs were reported to be approved, including 11 by the Government of Yemen and 33 by Ansar Allah.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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