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Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 29 November 2019

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IDP Response

Since mid-2019, intensified fighting, armed clashes and displacement have been continuously observed in various frontlines in the southern governorates of Taizz and Al Dhale’e. This year, close to 18,000 families fled their homes from the two governorates, which is more than one-quarter of the entire number of displacements identified in 2019. UNHCR has continued to provide life-saving assistance to families fleeing the frontlines that divide Taizz and Al Dhale’e. During the reporting period, 43 newly displaced families were verified by UNHCR Field Office (FO) Taizz and partner YWU, and subsequently provided with basic household items and assistance with installing emergency shelters. Meanwhile, assessments for winter assistance have begun in the colder areas of Ibb governorate, with an initial group of 1,455 families selected for further verification, from which the most vulnerable will be selected. In the coming months, FO Ibb will target both IDPs and host communities for winter assistance, with an estimated 4,000 families in Taizz, Ibb and Al Dhale’e governorates expected to be supported with cash or in-kind items.

The security situation in Sa’ada governorate remains tense, with airstrikes and artillery fire continuing — albeit considerably reduced from previous weeks. UNHCR partner YDF urgently identified and responded to 175 IDP families, who have been displaced from various frontlines and who are living in makeshift shelters.

UNHCR Sub Office Aden completed this year’s sixth distribution of cash assistance for a total of 5,099 households across southern governorates, which will support IDPs and vulnerable host community members with securing basic services and subsidizing their rent. Meanwhile, the beneficiary list for the seventh distribution of cash assistance for the southern governorates has been finalized, targeting some 4,491 families. So far this year, UNHCR has supported close to 112,000 IDP families (approximately 784,000 individuals) with cash assistance; 29,000 of whom were living in southern governorates.

Refugee Response

On 26 November, as part of UNHCR’s Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) programme for Somalis, the 38th boat departed Aden with 131 Somali refugees aboard. Since 2017, over 4,940 Somalis have left Yemen to Somalia. During the last two weeks, UNHCR and its government counterpart in Aden successfully enrolled 90 more Somali refugees in Basateen, Kharaz and Mukalla for future ASR departures after counselling provided by UNHCR and partners at three Return Help Desks.

UNHCR led a two-day training on prevention and response against SGBV for 13 night watchmen based in Kharaz camp, in Lahj governorate. The team of watchmen were chosen by an interview panel consisting of UNHCR and members of the Somali community. Each watchman will be responsible for an allocated block within the camp, and will carry out nightly patrols on a voluntary basis. This activity is one of the objectives of the Safe from the Start project funded by the United States, which aims to reduce the risk of SGBV incidents at the community level while increasing the quality of the response provided to survivors. UNHCR Yemen was one of eight operations globally to be selected for this project.