Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 15 October 2020

Situation Report
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IDP Response

UNHCR and partners began cash distributions for 26,500 displaced families in the northern governorates of Yemen, with some 80 per cent of the families already receiving support. Families received a cash allocation to pay for rent and cover their basic needs, including food, clothing and medicine, to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods. Close to 100,000 IDP families received cash support this year, and cash support specialised to help IDP families prepare for winter will begin soon.

UNHCR finalised its regular protection assessment of some 68,100 families in September, including host communities and internally displace persons (IDP) returnees. The highest number of families were assessed in Marib governorate. Some 92 per cent reported having no income or less than USD 41 (some YER 25,000) per month. Nearly 80 per cent reported having at least one family member with a vulnerability—including pregnant or lactating women or girls, or family members with chronic medical conditions— while approximately 16 per cent were women headed households, and five per cent were unaccompanied elderly.

Most of the families assessed (78 per cent) were eligible for support with basic household item distributions, while over half are eligible for future or cash assistance to meet their basic needs.

During the reporting period, UNHCR and partner JAAHD launched the pilot project “Safe and efficient cooking in IDP sites”. Baseline surveys have already been conducted in two IDP sites in Hudaydah governorate, which host some 100 IDP families. The aim of the project is to significantly improve household safety measures for cooking in IDP hosting sites, and implement sustainable energy methods, such as building traditional clay ovens, which will reduce the risk of preventable fires.

Refugee Response

UNHCR’s community-based protection (CBP) team in Sana’a along with partner SDF is finalising a report on the survey on the impact of the closure of schools during COVID-19. According to initial findings, over 70 per cent of parents reported the closure of schools as having a negative impact on the psychosocial and emotional well-being of their children. This comes following the announcement of the school calendar for the 2020/21academic year in areas under the de facto authorities (DFA) in Sana’a. The school year will commence on 17 October, following the registration period which began on 4 October. To facilitate access to education, the CBP team launched an advocacy plan to support children with expired documentation and children of Arab nationality who face obstacles in enrolling due to the lack of valid documents and/or residency.

UNHCR continues to strengthen reproductive health services for refugees and asylum-seekers. From 26 - 28 September, UNFPA, UNHCR and partner CSSW led a training workshop in Aden on the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health coordinators in Lahj governorate. In total, 20 reproductive health coordinators took part, including two from Kharaz refugee camp.