Yemen UNHCR Update, 13 - 26 October 2018

Situation Report
Originally published


Situation Update

On 25 October, Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande spoke about recent attacks killing and injuring dozens of civilians in Al-Hudaydah. She said “civilians are paying a shocking price because of this conflict.” Overland access to Al-Hudaydah is still limited to the northern entrance, as the route via Kilo 16 to the east of the city is inaccessible due to continued fighting. UNHCR’s warehouse in AlHudaydah remains temporarily closed due to the prevailing security situation.
On 23 October, Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Mark Lowcock, warned the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) of the risk of famine in Yemen.
The ERC briefed the Council, focussing on the link between the war, food insecurity and the risk of starvation, in line with the framework of UNSC Resolution 2417 of May this year. He warned that there is now “a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen: much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives.” The statement concluded with a call to support action in five areas (summarised as follows): cessation of hostilities around infrastructure that facilitates humanitarian aid; cancellation of planned and existing restrictions on food imports; larger and faster injection of foreign exchange into the economy; increased humanitarian funding; and belligerents’ full engagement with the UN Special Envoy.
The ongoing economic crisis is impacting multiple sectors, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), while cholera cases are surging. Soaring fuel costs are causing sanitation services to be suspended, including solid waste collection and desludging. The costs of water trucking and bottled water have doubled in the past month, forcing hundreds of thousands of households across the country to use alternative and unsafe water sources. As many as 1.2 million additional Yemenis are likely to require urgent WASH support if current trends continue, bringing the total number of people in need of water and sanitation to more than 12 million people.
Tropical Cyclone “Luban” brought strong winds and heavy rain to the southeastern coast of Yemen. The cyclone caused flooding and blocked transport routes, with al-Maharah Governorate experiencing the worst effects. The Governorate’s Emergency Operations Room reported that over 3,000 families were affected, while UN assessments found that at least 2,200 families had been displaced by the storm.