Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 1 - 15 March 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 15 Mar 2017

KEY FIGURES

18.8 million people in need

1,991,340 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)

84 Percentage of IDPs displaced for more than a year

1,048,896 IDP returnees

786,452 recipients of NFIs since March 2015

279,480 registered refugees and asylum seekers

9,969 new arrivals to Yemeni coast since 1 January 2017

FUNDING

USD 99.6 million requested for the IDP and refugee operation in 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  • UNHCR shocked and dismayed at loss of civilian lives at a market in Khawkhah town, in Hudaydah Governorate. UNHCR urges all parties to the conflict to ensure the utmost respect and adherence to the protection of civilians in Yemen, as up to 22 people lost their lives in an incident on 11 March.

  • UNHCR and humanitarian actors join in warning of looming famine compounded by access constraints to most vulnerable families. A united call to donors has been put forward, appealing for immediate funds to alleviate hunger, disease and provide urgent assistance to displaced families.

  • UNHCR-IOM led Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM) release the 13th TFPM report, with 1,991,340 IDPs and 1,048,896 IDP returnees identified in Yemen as of 1 February, 2017. This report does not reflect recent displacement in Taizz and Hudaydah, which will be reflected in the next TFPM report. Food assistance was once again reported as the top priority need among 75% of identified IDP locations and 51% of returnee locations.

UPDATE ON ACHIEVEMENTS

Operational Context

As the battle for control of the Red Sea port of Mokha on Yemen’s west coast rages on, renewed fighting across western and central Yemen has displaced more than 62,000 people in recent weeks, with many facing malnutrition, disease and inadequate shelter. Of those forced from their homes, 48,400 are from the west coast governorate of Taizz, where Mokha is located. UNHCR teams have observed that the majority of displaced families are in dire need of assistance and are sheltering in crowded public spaces, including schools and clinics. Other families lack shelter completely, instead currently living in the open or in unfinished buildings which are open to the elements. UNHCR is hugely concerned for the well-being of the displaced, with increasing reports of unhygienic and unsanitary conditions, contributing to an unsafe living environment, especially for children.

UNHCR and its partners have responded swiftly to the needs of those displaced from Taizz to Hudaydah and others across the country, providing shelter and emergency relief items, which many recipients reported as being the only humanitarian assistance they have so far received. However, fighting is currently hampering access to more than 35,000 people displaced within Taizz governorate itself, and UNHCR is calling for the resumption of humanitarian access to the area while trying to mobilize a response with all national actors on the ground.

Meanwhile, against a backdrop of intensified fighting and looming famine, humanitarian agencies are facing a funding shortfall. The situation in Yemen, constituting the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, is especially bleak with two thirds of the population — 18.8 million people — needing assistance and more than 7 million who do not know where their next meal will come from. Yemen is a country which depends heavily on imports, but hostilities have damaged and destroyed critical infrastructure.