Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 22 March 2019

Key figures:

24M people in need

3.34 M displaced in the last three years

81% of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) displaced for more than one year

1M IDP returnees

1.2M IDPs given inkind or cash assistance in 2018

273,939 refugees and asylum-seekers


USD 198.6 M required for 2019 operations

IDP Response

UNHCR continues to be impacted by the partial blockade, leading to delays and additional transport and warehousing expenses, caused by having to import core relief items (CRIs) for the north via the southern port of Aden. Import restrictions on armoured vehicles, protective personal equipment, satellite phones and radios are hampering operational capacity. Nevertheless, UNHCR’s assistance to IDPs continues across the country as families flee new outbreaks of violence.

During the reporting period, over 730 IDP families in the west of Yemen received CRIs in the central districts of Al Dhihar and Mashannah, Ibb governorate. The distribution took place through UNHCR partner YWU. Ibb governorate has recently received around 1,600 IDP families, who fled eastward from Al Hudaydah.

In the North-West, UNHCR Al Hudaydah field office conducted a mission to Hajjah governorate on 18 March. The purpose of the mission was to discuss coordination and capacity-building initiatives with the local authorities concerning site management. Some 2,200 CRI and ESKs are scheduled to be distributed in Abs, Hajjah governorate by UNHCR’s partner Jeel Al-Bena, who continues to have access to this district. Some 23,000 IDP families in the area fled from the recent conflict within the same governorate.

In the Eastern governorate of Al Maharah, 88 newly arrived IDP families received CRIs. They had reportedly fled from as far as Al Hudaydah, Taizz, Ibb and the northern Hajjah governorate.

Cash remains at the forefront of UNHCR’s assistance in Yemen. In 2018, UNHCR assisted close to 800,000 Yemenis (and 130,000 refugees), disbursing USD 48 million. By monitoring new displacement and working with service providers, community centres and local leaders, UNHCR and its partners are able to identify and assess the needs of vulnerable households. During the reporting period, 16,753 IDP families received cash assistance to address their protection needs, including rental subsidies. Distributions were made in the northern border areas of Sa’ada and Al Jawf (3,552 families), to families at the flash point of Hajjah governorate (5,601 families), and to those in Hudaydah governorate (4,048 families). According to the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview, an estimated 43 per cent of IDPs outside hosting sites are living in rented accommodation.

Refugee Response

The city of Sana’a and the surrounding governorate of Amanat Al Asimah contain 40 per cent of refugees and asylum-seekers in Yemen. As such, 137 home-based visits were conducted to carry out vulnerability assessments, psychosocial support and further referrals. In-hand cash payments were made to 45 individuals that were unable to approach the financial provider, being either disabled, sick, or elderly.

Working with the Government

On 17 March, UNHCR Sub-office Aden provided office kits for six offices of the Executive Unit (ExU), which included computers, furniture and assorted stationery. The support was requested by the ExU. Established in 2009, the ExU is the designated national institutional focal point for internal displacement in Yemen. Offices are located in the governorates of Aden, Lahj, Hadramaut, Hudaydah and Taizz.

You might also like