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Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 23 January 2020 [EN/AR]

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Key figures:

  • 24.1 M people in need

  • 3.65 M displaced since March 2015
    More than 80 per cent have been displaced more than a year

  • 66,499 families newly displaced since beginning of 2019

  • 1.28 M IDP

  • 267,244 refugees

  • 10,576 asylumseekers


  • USD 198.6 M required for 2019 operations

  • USD 147.6 M received as of 7 January 2020

IDP Response

Due to the temporary challenges faced regarding the implementation of humanitarian activities under the de facto authorities (DFA) in Sana’a, monitoring activities were unable to take place, including the management of the 11 community centres by UNHCR. In 2019, these community centres provided various Protection services such as legal counselling, legal assistance and psychosocial support, assisting some 94,000 individuals including the vulnerable host community, while also facilitating cash assistance for more than 86,000 IDP families. However, several urgent cases were supported through partners who were present in the community centres, despite the ongoing restrictions. UNHCR continues to discuss the current situation with the DFA so that the activities may resume as soon as possible. Meanwhile, fierce clashes were reported daily in Al Dhale’e governorate and are expected to continue as the conflicting parties attempt to control the roads connecting the north and south of the country, severely impacting the safety and security of civilians.

During the reporting period, sporadic heavy rain was observed throughout the south of Yemen. In Aden Governorate, 10 IDP family shelters, household items and food stocks were ruined due to extreme weather conditions. UNHCR provided technical guidance to rehabilitate emergency shelters, such as repair works for roofing and further enhancement to guard against rain. In 2019, some 400 families benefitted from such technical repairs.

Refugee Response

UNHCR Sub-Office (SO) Aden initiated a two-month project to verify data on the reasons leading to high numbers of out-of-school refugee children in Mukalla and Sayun cities, in Hadramaut governorate. Apart from the severly weakened public education system due to ongoing fighting, contributing factors are believed to include gender discrimination, poverty, child labour and early marriage. UNHCR embarked on an assessment to verify these assumptions, based on previous successes in Aden and Lahj governorates through the Ministry of Education. A similar project will be carried out in the eastern governorate of Al Mahara.

UNHCR continued to conduct regular individual case management for refugee status determination and resettlement, including screening, interviews and best interest assessments for children. In January, nine refugees underwent this process in SO Aden. During 2019, 53 cases involving 61 individuals were interviewed in SO Aden, and a total of 105 refugees have departed under UNHCR’s resettlement programme in 2019, in search of protection and safety in third countries.

After five years of continued conflict in Yemen, economic opportunities for refugees and asylum-seekers continue to be bleak. UNHCR continues to assist refugees in need of livelihood support through cash assistance, including children with disabilities and unaccompanied children. During 2019, a total of 11,363 refugees received unconditional cash support country-wide.