Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 11 October 2019

Situation Report
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IDP Response

UNHCR Sub Office (SO) Aden distributed emergency items including mosquito nets, water buckets, jerry cans, soap, and plastic sheets to 300 IDP families affected by heavy rains and floods in Aden and Lahj governorates. Assessments are still ongoing to identify families in need of support. Meanwhile, some 1,000 families who were displaced due to fighting were also assisted across the southern districts of Hudaydah, Taizz, Hadramaut, Al Mahrah and Shabwah governorates. So far this year, a total of 18,827 IDP and vulnerable host community families (113,253 individuals) have received basic household items in SO Aden’s area of responsibility, which represents close to a quarter of all basic household item distributions in Yemen for 2019.
UNHCR partner Jeel Al-Bena received a list of 4,364 newly displaced families from the National Authority for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (NAMCHA). The families identified are in need of shelter support through rental subsidies in Hudaydah governorate. As per standard procedure, UNHCR’s protection partner is now verifying the vulnerabilities of the identified families. After the verification is complete, the service provider will send a code to the beneficiary’s phones allowing them to collect their subsidies through more than 500 cash points, country-wide. In the course of this year, a total of 6,484 IDP families received rental subsidies in Hudaydah governorate.

During the reporting period, UNHCR partner Jeel Al-Bena began the fourth round of distributions for basic household items and emergency shelter in Az Zuhra district, in the north of Hudaydah governorate for 1,962 verified IDP families. The number of families assisted in this district continues to grow exponentially, due to families fleeing from the neighbouring flashpoint of Abs in Hajjah governorate. UNHCR has already distributed emergency items to close to 6,000 IDP families in Az Zuhra district since May 2019.

Refugee Response

Despite widespread fighting in the country, the humanitarian crisis and risks of abuse – the number of new arrivals to Yemen has spiked this year. The International Organization for Migration estimates that some 97,096 people have arrived in the first eight months of 2019 and 37,224 between April and May; the highest bi-monthly arrivals since data first became available in 2006. Ethiopians continue to constitute the majority of the new arrivals. New refugees and asylum-seekers to Yemen, depending on their nationality, are encouraged to register their status with the Immigration, Passport and Nationality Authority to validate their stay and have access to services. During the reporting period, UNHCR and partners assisted 10 newly arrived refugees from Somalia with temporary accommodation in Basateen neighbourhood, Aden governorate. During the course of the year, some 300 refugees and asylum-seekers sought further assistance from UNHCR. Overall, people currently seeking international protection represents a small proportion of the new arrivals.

UNHCR’s Protection partner Intersos manages two reception centres for refugees and asylum-seekers with specific needs in Lahj and Aden governorates; home to more than half of Yemen’s refugee and asylum-seeker population. These reception centres offer tailored support such as psychosocial counselling, health referrals and cash assistance after a thorough assessment and verification process. During the reporting period, a total of 49 highly vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers received support. Until September this year, a total of 3,921 cash grants were provided as either one-off assistance or as regular provisions to address protection needs or to support livelihood needs.