Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 11 January 2019

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 11 Jan 2019

Key figures:

24M people in need

3.9M displaced

81% of IDPs displaced for more than one year

1M IDP returnees

1.2M IDPs given in-kind or cash assistance in 2018

Funding in 2018

USD 198.6 M required for 2019 operations

USD 35.4 M received as of 9 January 2019

Cash assistance

IIn the north of Yemen, in the Governorates of Sa’ada and Al Jawf, UNHCR provided cash assistance to 1,700 internally displaced persons (IDPs). The aid targeted nearly 250 households identified by UNHCR and humanitarian partners as having needs for protection, shelter or core relief items.

Counselling Somali refugees on return

UNHCR counselled over 100 refugees on voluntary return, as part of the Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) Programme, which is implemented jointly by UNCHR and IOM. UNHCR provides information through three Return Help Desks (RHDs) located in refugee communities in southern Yemen: Kharaz Refugee Camp (in Lahj), Basateen neighbourhood (in Aden), and in Al Mukalla city (in Hadramaut). Since the ASR Programme began in April 2017, some 6,000 Somali refugees have been counselled, and over half that number – close to 3,500 – have returned to Somalia through the programme.

Shelter assistance

UNHCR coordinated the installation of emergency shelters, as well as 60 latrines and five water points to support 126 IDP households (740 individuals). This action assisted a particularly vulnerable group of IDPs near Raydah (50km north of Sana’a, in Amran Governorate), as they relocated from private land – where they had lived at risk of forced eviction since 2015 – onto specially allocated public land.

UNHCR is actively addressing issues related to growing spontaneous IDP sites in the south of Yemen, where displaced individuals are settling on what is often private land. In Lahj Governorate, north of Aden, in Saber village, UNHCR has finalised the construction of 150 transitional shelters and has begun constructing 500 transitional shelters in Al-Rebat, after agreement was reached with the land owners. In Saber, the transitional shelters will house IDPs who are currently living in tents and using mobile latrines, which provide only short term solutions. The families will move into the new transitional shelters once the Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) facilities and communal kitchens have been completed.

UNHCR continues to identify, upgrade and repair sub-standard shelters rented by refugees. Rented shelters are being improved to benefit refugee tenants and Yemeni host communities as part of the Basateen Roadmap project to improve living conditions and foster social cohesion.
Basateen is a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Aden, where a large number of vulnerable refugee families are living. In 2018, UNHCR made improvements to 190 homes in Basateen that are rented by refugees, and a further 300 will be repaired or upgraded in 2019.