Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 7 - 21 November 2018 | Issue 32
- The exchange rate of the Yemeni Rial rose significantly during the reporting period, up to about 520 YER per dollar, indicating that steps to stabilize the exchange rate are beginning to take effect.
- Humanitarian partners continue to preposition and deliver life-saving assistance to people in need and support vital installations in Al Hudaydah City.
- As of 19 November, partners identified more than 132,000 displaced households from Al Hudaydah Governorate; of whom more than 123,000 households have received rapid response assistance.
- The UN Human Rights Office documented 17,640 civilian casualties in Yemen; 6,872 dead and 10,768 injured from 26 March 2015 to 8 November 2018.
- Commercial food imports through Al Hudaydah and Al Saleef ports fell by more than 50 per cent compared to September 2018, with only 17 ships discharging their cargo in October.
The situation in Al Hudaydah and the humanitarian preparedness plan
Although there was no formal declaration of a ceasefire by the warring parties, the pause in fighting in and around Al Hudaydah City that started on 12 November contributed to a significant reduction of violence. Artillery shelling and airstrikes did not completely stop and continued to pose a threat to civilians, with incidents reported on 20 November near 50 Street around Al Saleh residential complex. Artillery shells also damaged houses in the 7 July neighborhood in Al Hali District. The Protection Cluster reported that on 20 November, three civilians were killed when airstrikes hit a house in Kulayb village south of Kilo 16 in Al Hali. On 19 November, one civilian was killed and four injured when an airstrike hit a vehicle on the main road in Al Maghras in At Tuhayat District.
Field reports indicated that most shops are closed and the number of people in the city has decreased significantly. This information also was corroborated by the fact that the Rapid Response Mechanism registered only 14,000 IDP families having fled from Al Hudaydah City since 1 October.
To ensure the continued delivery of life-saving assistance to people in need and support to vital installations in the city that are under threat due to the expansion of the conflict near populated areas (e.g., Kilo 16, Kilo 10, Al Hudaydah University, 90 Street, Al Saleh and Al Rabsa neighborhoods), humanitarian partners continue to pre-position supplies according to the Al Hudaydah preparedness plan. Six warehouses are operational in Al Hudaydah City to store supplies and have at hand 40,000 food rations, 15,000 rapid response mechanism kits, 5,000 nonfood items (NFIs), 2,000 tents and other emergency shelter kits.
The Nutrition Cluster has pre-positioned nutrition supplies to support 42,000 children suffering from Moderate Acute Malnutrition and 14,200 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition until the end of the year; 10,500 cartons of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) will be pre-positioned as emergency stock. To date, 2,500 cartons of RUTF are pre-positioned in Al Hudaydah City at the General Health Office; while the remaining 8,000 cartons are expected to arrive in the city by 28 November.
The Water Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster reported that 20,000 consumable Health Kits and 14,000 Basic Health Kits for Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) have been pre-positioned. UNICEF supplied the Local Water Sanitation Corporation with 600,000 liters of fuel so that drinking water is pumped till the end of the year. Partners are identified to implement multipurpose cash assistance programmes. Protection partners completed the mobilisation of community-based protection networks and other community-based structures to refer cases and ‘trapped populations’ for assistance.
The Health Cluster reported that fuel and medical supplies, including trauma kits, have been prepositioned for the three public hospitals (Al Thawrah, Al Olofi, Al Salakhana). WHO is supporting the health facilities in the city with 121,000 liters of fuel supplies to cover needs until the end of the year.
Al Thawrah Hospital is the only facility in the city equipped to provide a full range of secondary and tertiary care. This facility is critical for millions of people in Al Hudaydah Governorate. Its services include a malnutrition treatment facility, two intensive care units that are providing intensive emergency care including for newborn babies, and a cholera treatment centre that has treated 1,615 patients since August 2018. More than 81,000 children were treated at the hospital in 2017, while over 45,000 have received treatment there so far this year.
Since the lull in hostilities, Al Thawrah Hospital has remained functional and accessible. However, front lines remain very close by, meaning any resumption of hostilities could quickly render the facility unusable. Already, Al Thawrah Hospital has been damaged several times during fighting before the lull. While other hospitals continue to operate in Al Hudaydah, none offer the level of care and services provided by Al Thawrah. Its continued operation is vital for the city and its surroundings.
In parallel to supporting the major hospitals, six primary health centers were identified in the city (two in each district) for trauma treatment and primary health care, and are being supported through the provision of required supplies and staff.
The humanitarian community continues to appeal to all parties to the conflict to ensure that humanitarian workers are able to work safely, and particularly that medical facilities and health staff are protected. This is all the more important as a polio campaign is slated between 26 to 29 November in active-conflict districts (Durayhimi, Bayt Al Faqiah, At Tuhayat, Al Kawkhah, Al Hays, Al Garrahi, Al Hali, Al Mina, Al Hawak, Zabid).