Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 1 November 2019
UNHCR, with partners NMO and NRC, distributed basic household items to 180 newly displaced, conflict-affected families in IDP hosting sites in Qa'atabah, Al Hussein and Jahaf districts in Al Dhale'e governorate, as well as in Ash Shamayatayn district in Taizz governorate – both in close proximity to the frontlines. The security situation in the south has now largely stabilized, however sporadic armed clashes are ongoing in Al-Dhale’e and Abyan governorates, while attacks and explosions were reported in Aden, Hadramaut and Shabwah governorates.
There are now more than 1,620 IDP hosting sites identified country-wide in Yemen, according to the CCCM Cluster. As CCCM Cluster lead, UNHCR has the mandate of improving the living conditions of IDPs in these sites, along with 23 active CCCM partners, and ensuring equitable access to services. Despite ongoing efforts, the majority of IDP sites have not received substantial site management or coordination due to lack of resources, staffing, and access restrictions.
The Protection Cluster, led by UNHCR, has launched an online service directory for Protection Cluster partners. This online system strengthens referral pathways for IDPs, IDP returnees and vulnerable host communities by granting partners full access to services offered by other protection actors. The online platform maps the various Protection services offered by 74 Protection Cluster partners in Yemen, including legal and psychosocial counselling, documentation support, child protection, SGBV and cash assistance. Protection Cluster partners can utilise this online tool to easily map services available in a specific area and the contact details of service providers. This initiative is expected to considerably improve communication lines between all Cluster partners and contribute to a more integrated protection response.
UNHCR, alongside the Protection, Shelter/NFI and CCCM Clusters, is currently conducting a rapid assessment of IDP families living in areas affected by cold climate. This follows a recent infant death in Kharif IDP site, Amran governorate, who died as a result of cold conditions. Following previous assessments, all IDP families at this site have received a package of basic household items, including mattresses and blankets. An additional distribution of thermal blankets was conducted immediately for 119 vulnerable IDP families, targeting the elderly and those with infants. Once verified, they will receive immediate emergency winter assistance consisting of cash or non-food items, as well as suitable clothing to protect infants from cold temperatures. The Shelter Cluster’s recent ‘Winterization Recommendations For Yemen, October 2019-Feburary 2020’ estimates more than 385,320 vulnerable families will require seasonal assistance through vouchers and cash, as well as in-kind distributions in remote locations.
Under UNHCR’s Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) programme for Somalis, the 37th boat left Aden with 114 Somali refugees on 28 October. Since 2017, over 4,800 Somalis have travelled from Yemen to Berbera, Somalia. UNHCR, together with IOM, assists returning Somalis with documentation, transportation and cash assistance in Yemen to facilitate the journey, as well as return and reintegration support upon arrival.
As part of the durable solutions offered by UNHCR Yemen, six Congolese and Ethiopian refugees departed through Aden to a third country for resettlement. A total of 92 refugees have left Yemen this year; UNHCR has successfully submitted 107 individuals for resettlement, exceeding its allocated annual quota.