Hajjah Governorate is one of the most conflict-affected governorates in Yemen. In the last six months, the number of people displaced by violence across the governorate has increased sharply from 203,000 to around 420,000 people. IDPs are scattered in more than 300 settlements in different districts.
During the reporting period, violence continued, with airstrikes and shelling incidents reported in Haradh, Hayran and Midi districts. In late January,
Kushar district became a new flashpoint when clashes broke out between pro-Ansar Allah forces and the Hajour tribesmen of Kushar. In early March, following a change in the areas of control in Kushar district, fighting intensified with airstrikes reported daily along with IED attacks against local prominent figures.
As a result, the district continues to witness very high levels of civilian impact. There is a lack of verified civilian casualty figures in the district due to access constraints. However, field reports from Hajjah Governorate indicate that scores of civilians have been killed by strikes on houses in Kushar District during the past two days. Medical sources report that 22 people have died, including 12 children and 10 women. As many as 30 people have been reportedly injured, including 14 children. Many of the injured children have been sent to hospitals in Abs district and in Sana’a for treatment and several require possible evacuation to survive. In her statement of 11 March, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Ms. Lise Grande condemned the deaths and injuries.
Thousands of civilians are reportedly trapped between conflicting parties and lack basic necessities or services. Roads leading to some villages are closed, limiting the movement of civilians.
Initial figures from humanitarian partners and local authorities indicate that more than 5,300 families have been displaced mostly from villages in Kushar and Aflah Al Sham districts. Al Qaflah District in Amran Governorate has also been affected by the conflict with 136 families displaced within the district and 300 families displaced to Amran City. In Al Qaflah District, Amran Governorate, response is ongoing to support IDPs: 432 families were assisted with RRM kits; 160 families with emergency shelter kits and 40 with rental subsidies by YRC. A joint humanitarian mission to Al Qaflah district is planned next week to further assess the needs and scale up the response.
Inter-Agency Mission To Hajjah
From 6 to 8 March, an inter-agency mission comprising UNICEF, IOM, OCHA, UNFPA and WFP visited Hajjah Governorate to assess the humanitarian situation of newly displaced families from Kushar and Aflah Al Sham districts, with the aim scaling up humanitarian response in Hajjah Governorate.
The mission identified gaps in non-food items (NFIs), shelter, and in WASH responses. Partners are planning three phases of simultaneous response: support newly displaced families from Kushar and Aflah Al Sham; support the IDPs from Haradh, Midi and Hayran districts; and, build emergency stock of supplies to ensure timely response to any potential new displacement. Partners will be identified to manage IDP settlements with the aim to improve overall response through dedicated and regular monitoring of number of IDPs, needs and gaps in assistance and services to IDPs.