UNHCR carried out an assessment mission between 11-21 March to Marib governorate to identify needs for persons displaced during recent escalations in in the north. Out of the 26 new IDP sites identified—which currently host approximately 5,300 families—minimal levels of site management and coordination of basic services were observed, including provisions of food and water. Approximately 80 per cent of sites had no household items. A high level of vulnerability was also observed among fleeing families, particularly women, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. UNHCR has finalised the first round of assessments and will support distributions of shelter and basic household items. As an initial step, UNHCR is distributing 300 tents and non-food items (NFI) to 945 families. According to partners, there are still considerable gaps in the Shelter/NFI data; UNHCR is coordinating with relevant stakeholders to address these issues.
On 25 March, heavy rains and floods in Aden took a hard toll on affected IDP hosting sites. Jointly with the Executive Unit, UNHCR and the Shelter/NFI and CCCM clusters conducted a rapid assessment on the sites to evaluate the damage, needs and key priorities. The team visited four IDP hosting sites where close to 600 families live. Monitoring showed that approximately 400 families (2,800 persons) have been severely affected—not only were their shelters and mattresses damaged, but many reported losing their stockpiles of food. Two women and an infant suffered injuries and were referred for medical care; serious protection concerns remain for women, children, and the elderly. The UNHCR-led Shelter/NFI and CCCM clusters are coordinating with partners to lead urgent response for sanitation facilities, food rations, shelter repair and replenishment of basic household items.
During the reporting period, UNHCR successfully advocated along with other UN agencies to include refugees in the national response plan against COVID-19 for areas under the De Facto Authorities (DFA). As nationals, IDPs are automatically included in the plan. Hygiene kits for all registered refugee and asylum-seeking families are currently being procured for distribution. UNHCR’s health unit briefed representatives from various refugee communities on prevention, and extensive awareness-raising sessions are currently being conducted with health partners and refugee community leaders, with more scheduled in the upcoming days. UNHCR also translated the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Arabic information leaflet on awareness-raising and prevention into five languages, to be printed and distributed through protection partners and community centres.
Various preventive measures against COVID-19 were initiated in the areas under Sub-Office Aden. Extra hygiene kits containing soap and sanitizers were distributed to refugees, IDPs and the financially affected host community in Basateen neighbourhood, with extensive awareness-raising on personal hygiene. Rehabilitation of latrines have begun for the clinics inside Kharaz refugee camp, which is the only health facility for some 9,000 refugees.