Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 25 October 2019
UNHCR proactively responds to the needs of persons of concern who have experienced Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). As part of this response, UNHCR Yemen’s proposal on ‘SGBV Prevention, Risk Mitigation and Response Interventions and Mainstreaming’ has been selected by the United States, as one of eight global ‘Safe from the Start’ projects. The project, to be implemented within three districts in Hajjah, Aden and Lahj governorates, is expected to directly benefit some 50,000 women and girls and reduce or mitigate incidences of SGBV, whilst ensuring survivors have access to functional complaint and feedback mechanisms. Alongside other activities, UNHCR will install over 700 lighting fixtures in common areas across two IDP sites in Abs district, Hajjah governorate, using Liter of Light technology. Use of such sustainable solar light technology is in line with UNHCR’s recently launched fouryear Global Strategy for Sustainable Energy, which promotes the transition to clean, renewable energy at refugee camps and hosting sites, including for individual households, communal areas and support facilities. Furthermore, UNHCR will establish a community night patrol team and rehabilitate the women’s detention centre in Kharaz refugee camp, Aden governorate as well as provide personal security equipment such as motorcycles, whistles and torches in Basateen neighbourhood, Lahj governorate.
Following a request from the humanitarian arm of the de facto authorities, NAMCHA, the office in Sana’a visited two sites hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs). The two sites—Alraqah and Alazraqeen—in Hamdan district, Sana’a governorate, currently host some 105 IDP families. UNHCR assessed the situation, with a focus on shelter and basic household items. IDPs were found to be burning materials from a nearby waste site to stay warm; as a result of which, many were found to be suffering from respiratory illnesses. UNHCR has alerted Health Cluster partners for their immediate intervention. As conditions at the two sites were found to be appalling, UNHCR will prioritize distributions of basic household items and cash, so families can prepare for the upcoming winter season.
UNHCR and partner CSSW led educational activities and distributed soap to 184 students in three schools in Aden governorate, to mark Global Handwashing Day. In Kharaz refugee camp, Lahj governorate, UNHCR and partner SHS also distributed soap to 7,334 refugees and asylum-seekers in the camp, to encourage hygiene and handwashing. In Kharaz, refugees are provided with soap, sanitary pads and other hygiene items upon request. So far this year, 16,652 women and girls have received sanitary materials, and 53,587 persons received hygiene supplies.
Heavy rains in September across the south of Yemen temporarily cut off the water supply in a number of areas, including Kharaz refugee camp. UNHCR and the Government Camp Coordinator advocated with national authorities to expedite the repair of the water system, which serves both the camp and surrounding areas. The Lahj water department replaced the damaged pipes in less than a week, with the water supply returning back to normal.