Yemen UNHCR Update, 15 - 31 May 2018
22.2M People in need 2M IDPs
89% of IDPs displaced for more than a year
956K IDP returnees
CRIs 1M recipients of CRIs since March 2015
279K refugees and asylum seekers
$198.7M requested in 2018
$108.6M received as of June 2018
The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC), Mark Lowcock, has called on the Yemeni Government and the Saudi-led Coalition (SLC) to loosen restrictions on imports of food and fuel through commercial ports, warning that millions more could face starvation. In a public statement released on 24 May 2018, he addressed the escalation in conflict, which is causing large numbers of civilian deaths, and called on all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and ensure that everything possible is done to protect civilians. Lowcock further highlighted the difficult operating environment in Yemen, noting that humanitarian agencies face increasing restrictions on their work imposed by authorities, particularly in northern areas, where humanitarian staff are being detained and intimidated and visas are being delayed and denied.
As fighting is escalating on Yemen’s Red Sea coastline, with significant advancement by forces supported by the SLC towards Hudaydah city, the humanitarian community is preparing for possible mass displacement and increased humanitarian needs, if the conflict reaches the city. Hudaydah’s port is a vital lifeline for commercial and humanitarian imports to Yemen. A complete closure of the port would have devastating consequences for the population – 75 per cent of whom are already in need of humanitarian assistance. According to OCHA, an additional 200,000 people are likely to be displaced in case of an attack on Hudaydah city, mostly within the governorate. Since 1 December 2017, more than 112,000 people have fled fighting along the west coast and in Taizz Governorate to safer areas in southern Governorates.
On 23 May 2018, tropical cyclone “Mekunu” resulted in flooding on the island of Socotra and parts of Yemen’s eastern mainland, for which the Yemeni Government declared a state of emergency. Humanitarian partners in Aden mobilised relief items and sent an Inter-Agency assessment team to Socotra.