• More than 1.2 million people in need are located in the most inaccessible parts of Yemen
• A fire at a WFP warehouse in Al Hudaydah destroyed over 3,420 MT of relief food items
• A sharp escalation in aerial attacks was reported in Sa’ada and Al Jawf governorates
• Donors at a high-level pledging conference pledged $2.01billion for the 2018 YHRP
More than 9.2 million people in need in areas with high access constraints
In February 2018, focus group discussions were conducted with partner organisations, including UN agencies, INGOs and national NGOs, about access challenges in Yemen. The exercise, which was first conducted in August 2017, indicates that more than 1.2 million people in need are located in the most inaccessible areas of Yemen, with an additional eight million in areas where humanitarian actors face obstacles on a regular basis. This combined total of 9.2 million marks a slight increase compared to August 2017, when 8.9 million people were assessed to be in areas with high or medium access constraints.
Overall, access constraints were reported in 90 per cent of districts, with the most prevalent being related to administrative, security or infrastructure-related challenges. Armed conflict remains one of the main drivers of access constraints, both in terms of the type and severity of access difficulties. In conflict-affected areas along the western coast, for instance, partners reported an increase in interference by local authorities in the humanitarian activities compared to August 2017, including in terms of the types of the permitted activities.
Participants identified administrative restrictions to be a growing challenge for humanitarian operations. In August 2017, for instance, INGOs principally reported difficulties with sub-agreements with implementing partners. In February 2018, UN agencies, international and national NGOs all reported difficulties with sub-agreements in 34-45 per cent of districts. The Humanitarian Access Working Group and humanitarian partners continue to review the results of focus group discussions, with a view towards adjusting operational and advocacy strategies to reach people in need across Yemen.
UPDATES FROM THE HUMANITARIAN HUBS
Hudaydah Hub: Investigations are underway to establish the cause of a fire that destroyed a warehouse in Al Hudaydah port on 31 March. WFP is assessing the extent of damage but initial reports indicate that the fire destroyed over 3,420 MT of relief food items.
The intensity of fighting along the coastal areas of Hudaydah has reduced slightly, especially in Al Khawkhah and Hays districts, but civilian casualties were reported from aerial bombardment, according to partners. Fighting continues in Haradh and Midi districts, Hajjah governorate. Humanitarian partners registered 341 newly displaced families in Jabal Ras district and verified another 662 in Hudaydah city. As of 27 March, nearly 7,000 newly displaced families were being assisted.
Aden Hub: An inter-agency mission to Mukalla from 26-31 March enabled UN heads in Aden to engage with local authorities in Hadramaut governorate. Priority lists presented to the UN did not change from recent interactions, and highlighted concerns for food security, malnutrition, IDP arrivals and large-scale returns from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The mission found that there is a large number of national NGOs ready to collaborate with the UN, both in implementing projects and to build their capacity to become implementing partners.
About 1,200 community volunteers and 255 religious leaders (male and female) continue to engage with IDPs and host communities across the southern governorates, promoting life-saving water and sanitation practices and immunization; raising awareness about child recruitment, as well as cholera and diphtheria in 18 districts. Over 92,300 people have been reached.
Ibb Hub: Humanitarian partners report the distribution of shelter and non-food items to 216 households in Maqbanah district, Taizz governorate. During the reporting period, 15 displaced children were enrolled in school. Meanwhile Cluster partners are responding to the needs of new arrivals in Wadi Kabeer in Mukha district, where recent rapid assessments reported new conflict-related displacement of about 136 households.
Authorities in some areas of Taizz governorate have been able to control the prices of cooking gas, bringing down the price of a 20-litre cooking gas cylinder from 2,500 YER to 2,300 YER (approx. 5US$). There are, however, areas where the price remains as high as 8,000–10,000 YER (approx. 20US$ in the black market) for a 20-litre cylinder of cooking gas.
Sa’ada Hub: A sharp escalation in airstrikes was reported in Sa’ada and Al Jawf governorates. On 29 March, at least 14 airstrikes struck the vicinity of Sa’adah city. At least seven civilians, including five women were reportedly killed. Several other airstrikes were reported in various districts during the reporting period, with civilian casualties and damage to residential houses.
Humanitarian partners in Al Jawf governorate report that only 64 out of 107 health facilities are functional. In Sa’ada, only 108 out of 170 are functional. The nonfunctionality of these facilities and security concerns have affected the overall humanitarian response.
Sana’a Hub: Fighting was reported in Qayfah area in Al Qurayshyah and Wald Rabi’ districts in Al Bayda governorate, Sirwah district in Marib gvernorate and Nihm district, in Sana’a governorate; with casualties. Airstrikes were reported in Marib, Amran and Sana’a governorates. Despite the violence, humanitarian partners continued to implement various programmes.
In Dhamar governorate, dialysis medical supplies sufficient for 1,000 dialysis/renal failure treatment sessions were delivered to Dhamar General Hospital. The facility is equipped to accommodate 70 patients per day but receives almost 400 patients, mostly IDPs. Renal failure is not among the priority areas in the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, but the Health Cluster is seeking ways to support the 32 dialysis centres in the country.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.