As of June 2020, the Protection Cluster has reached over 1.2 million people with critical protection services, including cash assistance for protection services, legal and psychosocial support. In several areas including in Marib and Al Hudaydah governorates, protection risks are compounded by ongoing conflict, floods and the threat of COVID-19. Despite growing needs, the Protection Cluster remains short of resources, with protection partners facing the closure of community centres due to lack of funding. Only 17 such centres remain operational as of August 2020, compared to 37 in 2019.
As part of its regular monitoring exercises, UNHCR conducted post-distribution monitoring of a selected 443 IDP and host community families in 17 out of 22 governorates, who had received UNHCR multi-purpose cash assistance in January 2020. More than 98 per cent of the families informed that the cash was used to buy food, followed by covering health costs including medicine (78 per cent), water (68 per cent), debt repayment (57 per cent) and rent (47 per cent). Some 70 per cent of the families were forced to reduce expenditures on hygiene products, water, infant supplies, health and education to meet their food needs, while some 60 per cent had to take new loans or borrow money. By August, some 19,700 refugee families and 110,600 IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host community families were assisted with some USD 23 M cash assistance this year for seasonal support against cold weather at the start of 2020, basic needs such as food, shelter and medicine and to mitigate the socio-economic effects of COVID-19. However, despite the high need for cash assistance, lack of timely funding has had a serious impact on the cash programme in Yemen, with only 15,000 IDP and refugee households assisted out of an estimated 66,000 households impacted by COVID-19 prevention measures.
The Shelter Cluster partners in the Hudaydah Hub responded to nearly 9,500 flood-affected families in Hajjah, Hudaydah, Raymah and AlMahwit governorates out of some 21,000 families identified in need. Following continued heavy rains and flooding, hundreds of shelters, as well as livestock, roads and agricultural land, was reported destroyed or damaged, with accounts of deteriorating health among displaced families due to waterborne disease. While assessments are ongoing, the current contingency stocks have already been depleted. UNHCR continues to liaise with local authorities for unhindered access to the affected areas and advocate for more funding through OCHA for the shelter response.