Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 3 April 2020 [EN/AR]

Situation Report
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IDP Response

UNHCR continues to support the De Facto Authorities (DFA)’s Supreme Council for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (SCMCHA) with prevention measures against COVID-19. During the reporting period, 4,370 blankets, 3,600 mattresses, 190 solar lamps and 60 tents were delivered to quarantine centres in Al Baydah and Sana’a governorates for IDPs arriving after fleeing frontline violence in Al Jawf governorate. Meanwhile, four quarantine centres have been established in Taizz and Al Dhale’e governorates in anticipation of a possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

During the reporting period, waves of displacement continued as a result of the fighting in Khab Wa Ash Sha’af district, Al-Jawf Governorate. Some 1,120 families are reported to have fled to locations within the same governorate, however in areas under control of different authorities. Shelter Cluster partner Building Foundation for Development (BFD), has begun distributing items in areas where there is still access, including 200 emergency shelter kits (ESKs), basic household packages consisting of kitchen sets, mattresses, solar lamps, and cash for shelter and maintenance.

Refugee Response

On 25 March, UNHCR started distributing hygiene kits in Kharaz refugee camp in Lahj, home to 8,800 refugees and asylum-seekers. The kits included soap for personal hygiene, handwashing and laundry. Women and girls of reproductive age also received personal sanitary supplies. The distribution followed the infection prevention protocol, which includes sanitizing the fingerprint biometric scanner, practising social distancing and ensuring regular hand-washing.

UNHCR’s health partner CSSW, jointly with the Ministry of Health, trained 13 doctors and nurses from the two UNHCR-supported clinics in Basateen neighbourhood, Aden, on case management for COVID-19 patients. The World Health Organization (WHO) will follow up with trainings on active surveillance and referral pathways for all community health workers currently monitoring the refugee and asylum-seeker cases. In addition, awareness-raising leaflets on COVID-19 were distributed in Somali and Oromo languages. Basateen is a neighbourhood in the outskirts of Aden where some 150,000 impoverished local community members, IDPs and a predominantly Somali refugee population have co-existed in close proximity for several years.

UNHCR increased the capacity of the 24-hour hotlines to reduce the negative impact on persons of concern following the temporary suspension of face-to-face monitoring, in light of COVID-19. Protection assessment interviews, referrals for specialized support, and other activities are now being carried out via telephone. Urgent case interviews are still available upon appointment.