• Hostilities in Hajjah Governorate caused a spike in civilian casualties and increased displacement.
• An inter-agency mission to Abs District and Hajjah town found significant needs among displaced families.
• Humanitarian partners are scaling up assistance to people affected by the evolving situation in Hajjah Governorate.
Hostilities continue in Hajjah Governorate. During the reporting period, armed confrontations, artillery shelling and airstrikes were reported in various villages in Kushar, Mustaba, Haradh and Midi districts causing a significant spike in civilian casualties.
On 1 February, ten civilians were reportedly injured in two separate airstrikes that struck vehicles in Mustaba and Bakil Al Mir districts. Between 24-30 January, the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project documented 42 civilian casualties; 35 casualties – of whom 8 killed and 27 injured – caused by the shelling of a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Bani Al Haddad, Haradh District. The other 7 resulted from airstrikes, marking the highest weekly civilian casualty rate in Hajjah since November 2018.
Ongoing fighting in Haradh, Hayran and Mustaba districts resulted in daily displacement to neighbouring Abs District, where some IDPs sought shelter in one of the 309 settlements scattered across the district. Since June 2018, around 25,000 families (about 150,000 people) have been displaced to and within Hajjah Governorate. The majority of these IDPs live in Abs District.
An inter-agency mission comprising of IOM, OCHA, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF and WHO visited Hajjah Governorate from 27-29 January to conduct a rapid assessment of the current humanitarian situation in Abs District and Hajjah town. The focus was on needs and gaps in the on-going response.
Findings of the inter-agency mission
The mission visited four IDPs settlements (two in each location) and two health facilities and met with humanitarian partners and local authorities. More than 420,000 IDPs live in Hajjah Governorate, representing the second highest concentration of IDPs of any governorate in Yemen and is only surpassed by Sana’a Governorate.
The mission found that the majority of the new IDPs had been displaced multiple times within the Governorate, making them more vulnerable. Newly displaced families lack adequate non-food items (NFIs), latrines and are short of water. Many of the displaced families have not received NFIs and have not yet been included in the food rolls.
Partners on the ground reported a lack of fuel for the disposal of solid waste, including in areas of where IDPs are hosted. Efforts are underway to identify a partner to cover the gap.