Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 12 November 2020

Situation Report
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On 6 November, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), warned that escalations in conflict and a further reduction in humanitarian access could lead to risk of famine in four countries, including Yemen. In Yemen, most vulnerable families, in Al Jawf, Marib, Amran and Al Mahwit governorates, who rely on humanitarian assistance to survive are at higher risk of famine, should the situation deteriorate.

On 7 November, the Government of Yemen reported no new case of COVID19 in the areas under its control. However, indicators continue to suggest that the virus is still spreading, and the number of confirmed cases and deaths reported are underestimated. A lack of testing facilities and official reporting (no data for the areas under the De Facto Authorities’ control), people delaying seeking treatment because of stigma, difficulty accessing treatment centres and the perceived risks of seeking care, are some of the reasons behind the low number of reported cases. Since the GoY reported the first case, in April, 2,070 COVID-19 cases including 602 deaths have been recorded in Yemen (WHO)

IDP Response

Over the reporting period, UNHCR assisted over 12,240 displaced families countrywide with cash to make up for the loss of livelihoods due to COVID-19. In the north, UNHCR also completed the cash payment for batch #5 on 25 November. Close to 16,800 displaced families received cash to help them make rent and pay for medicine, food, clothes. UNHCR has since started the distribution of batch #6, where UNHCR will distribute some USD 4 million to over 25,000 displaced families.

UNHCR has assisted close to 4,500 conflict-affected displaced families with core relief items to address their shelter, hygiene and cooking needs. Close to 250 families recently displaced by conflict also received emergency shelter kits.

UNHCR and partners provided protection services to over 11,000 displaced Yemenis across the country. Displaced men, women and children, received psychosocial support, legal counselling, help with ID cards, and received specialized services for children and survivors of violence, referrals to other services, as well as cash to address their immediate protection needs.

Refugee response

Jointly with the World Food Programme and partner SHS, UNHCR distributed food to refugee and asylum seekers families in Kharaz Camp, in Lahj governorate. Over 2,200 families received a monthly ration of cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and salt, enough to cover their basic food needs.

In the north, UNHCR also commenced the cash distribution for refugees living in urban areas. Refugees will receive from USD 30 to USD 225, depending on their needs and assessed vulnerability levels. The money will help them pay for medicine, food, rent, funeral costs, and cope with the hardship exacerbated by COVID-19. The distribution will reach over 2,100 refugees in the north.