IOM Yemen – Fire Incident in Al Jufainah Camp | Flash Update (05 April 2021)

On 03 April 2021, a fire broke out in Sector 3 of Al Jufainah Camp in Ma’rib governorate due to an electrical fault, resulting in the tragic death of one child and the injury of one man, three women and one boy, some of whom are currently being treated in intensive care units. Those injured by the fire needing specialized care were brought to the hospital while minor burn cases were treated by the IOM mobile medical team at the site.
All those affected, who did not require immediate medical care, were evacuated by the Executive Unit for Internally Displaced Persons (ExU) to Al Wahda School located in Al Jufainah Camp. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, IOM shelter and non-food items (S-NFI) and camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) teams provided workers to clean up the area, while the installation of emergency tents for the affected families will take place soon.
IOM verified that a total of 18 shelters were fully damaged by the fire, impacting 21 households.

The Executive Unit provided household items to each of the affected households and the IOM S-NFI team is complementing this assistance with the provision of non-food item and shelter kits. Quick meals are being provided to 21 households and Rapid Response Mechanism registration for emergency food baskets for each household is also ongoing. The IOM protection team is present on the ground providing support to particularly vulnerable cases, including referrals for psychosocial and legal support and the provision of aid kits for babies; additionally, the Organization is providing cash assistance.

To mitigate future incidents in Al Jufainah Camp, IOM is implementing the following measures:

• Ongoing improvement of the electrical network to reduce the risk of electrical fires and other hazards.

• Piloting a kitchen improvement project to reduce fire risks, with plans to implement the project on a larger scale throughout the Camp.

• Conducting regular training and awareness sessions throughout the Camp on firefighting, including the distribution of fire extinguishers for every five households. IOM is exploring the distribution of fire extinguishers for each family living in congested areas of the Camp to further mitigate fire risks.

As a result of a surge in fighting since January 2020, the largest number of displacements in Yemen have occurred in Ma’rib governorate. A majority of people are moving towards Ma’rib city (70%), where Al Jufainah Camp is located, which has overstretched local resources and led to extremely crowded displacement sites. This has in turn further increased risks to families like that of fire and competition over resources. Al Jufainah Camp in particular has increased in population size from 3,000 households in April 2019 to over 10,000 as of April 2021. Like other sites nearby and the city as a whole, the Camp has reached beyond its full capacity.

IOM has a team of 18 international and 125 national support and programme staff in Ma’rib as well as nearly 200 community mobilizers and enumerators. The team is leading response activities, prioritizing critical needs assessments and registering newly arrived IDPs for assistance through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). Together with local authorities, the Organization continues to coordinate overall response efforts in Ma’rib through its leadership of the CCCM and Health subnational clusters, co-leadership of the WASH sub-national cluster, Ma’rib-based focal point of the protection cluster, and as S-NFI Multi-sectoral Contingency Stock Pipeline manager.

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