Yemen + 2 more

Yemen: Humanitarian Emergency Situation Report No. 16 (as of 20 July 2015) [EN/AR]



  • Heavy fighting in Aden caused scores of casualties, including more than 40 civilians on Sunday, overwhelming health services that are already at breaking point.
  • The staple wheat flour and cooking gas are still in very short supply, and prices are rising beyond the reach of more people. Wheat flour now costs more than double pre-crisis prices in some areas, and cooking gas up to 264 per cent more, in the governorates where it is still sporadically or generally available.
  • World Food Programme (WFP) food trucks delivered 1,300 MT of food to warehouses in Aden, which is enough to feed 80,000 people for a month. An additional 5,600 MT was delivered to warehouses in Sa’ada and Taizz. The delivery was delayed due to detention at checkpoints for several days before they could enter Aden.
  • For the first time since the conflict escalated, IDPs in Sa’ada Governorate (over 3,300) received NFIs and emergency shelter (plastic sheeting and tents) in As Safra, Sa'adah, Sahar and Majz districts.

21.1m People in need of assistance - 80 per cent of the population.
11.7m Targeted for assistance in 2015.
1,267,590 Internally displaced people (IDPs).
3,748 Registered deaths resulting from conflict.
18,003 Registered injuries resulting from conflict.

Situation Overview

Violence increased dramatically during the reporting period. Intense fighting was centred in Aden and is now moving north to neighbouring governorates including Lahj, Taizz, Abyan and Al Dhale’e. There are unconfirmed reports of large numbers of civilian casualties. As of 10 July, 783 deaths had been registered in health facilities in Aden since the conflict escalated in March (compared with 3,640 deaths nationally, or 22 per cent of all deaths). This number is expected to rise significantly as the impact of this fighting is assessed.

The humanitarian situation in Aden is of grave concern. The water supply in the Khur Maksar district is badly damaged and already stressed hospitals across the city are receiving large numbers of casualties. Many houses have been badly damaged and residents need emergency shelter. WFP has been able to enter the city with food for over 80,000 people, but it is struggling to move within the city to reach people in need. WFP also reported that its trucks were held at the checkpoint at the entry to Aden for several days before some trucks were given permission to enter the governorate. Health, shelter and WASH supplies for half a million people entered Aden via an inter-agency convoy reported last week. A massive fire broke out at the Aden oil refinery during the week after the facility was hit by rockets, damaging and reducing overall capacity of the Oil Harbour, endangering Aden residents and causing significant environmental impact. Residents have struggled to put out the blaze as there is no petrol for fire engines.

Aden residents have faced increasing mortality and morbidity due to dwindling levels of water, food and medical supplies. Poor sanitation and lack of waste collection are posing a serious public-health risk. A dengue fever outbreak has affected nine governorates, with Aden continuing to be the worst affected by suspected dengue and other viral haemorrhagic fevers. The governorate has lost nearly all its emergency disease early warning capacity due to the ongoing conflict.

Fighting has caused continued displacement to areas that humanitarian partners struggle to access due to fuel shortages, road insecurity, and harassment and intimidation by armed groups. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host-community members in several governorates, including Hadramaut, Al Mahwit and Taizz, urgently need food; shelter; health services, including for pregnant and lactating women; mental health support and fuel. Reports of the presence of child soldiers and of escalating tensions between IDPs and host communities are of great concern. Living conditions are desperate for an estimated 14,000 IDPs, mostly from Sa'ada, who arrived recently in Amran City, where families are reportedly living in tents, caves and other informal and unsafe sites for human habitation.

Civilians continue to pay the highest price in this conflict. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights counted more than 5,500 casualties (deaths and injuries combined) nationally, indicating that fighting is taking place in neighbourhoods where civilians live and work.

Food insecurity continues to intensify, despite some commercial imports and humanitarian shipments. Prior to the crisis, Yemen imported 90 per cent of its staple wheat, which requires milling, bagging and distributing locally. This process requires diesel and petrol, which have been in drastically short supply since the conflict escalated. To compound the crisis, imported food still needs to be purchased by people in need, but with the economy severely disrupted and prices continuing to rise it is highly likely that more people will slip into deeper food insecurity. Other forms of food, such as livestock, which were previously imported overland from Saudi Arabia, are no longer entering the country. Malnutrition is expected to be on the rise, as food becomes increasingly scarce and expensive, and many of Yemen’s displaced subsistence farmers (of which there were 2.5 million prior to the escalation of the crisis) and their families lose access to food produced at the household level.

A key factor in Yemen’s future food security is commercial importers’ confidence to place forward orders, which need to be submitted two or three months prior to food arriving in country. If commercial importers stop importing food, the situation will deteriorate quickly, with more governorates possibly slipping into deeper emergency. Ten of Yemen’s 22 governorates are classed as being in a Phase 4 emergency, as designated by the Integrated Phase Classification system. This phase is one phase before famine.


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