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UNHCR update on humanitarian situation in Abs Hajjah Governorate (1 April 2021)

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Yemen
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UNHCR
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OVERVIEW | 1 APRIL 2021

The current escalation in the fighting in Harad and Abs districts in Hajjah Governate continue to force many Yemenis to abandon their homes and seek safety in nearby areas. It is estimated that during the past two weeks more than 200 families (around 1,200 individuals) have been forcibly displaced and have sought refuge in existing IDP hosting sites in the governorate. Most newly displaced families have settled on sites located in four sub-districts, namely: Bany Thawab, Alwasat, Qutuba and Al-Bitariah in Abs district.

DISPLACED POPULATION AND NEEDS

Following the new displacements, UNHCR’s partner, Rawabi AL-Nahdah Developmental Foundation (RADF) conducted a Rapid Needs Assessment to evaluate the urgent protection needs of those forcibly displaced. So far, since 15 March, some 679 individuals (97 families) have been assessed. The initial findings show that children and women represent 81% of the displaced population, with 31% of the assessed households (HH) being headed by women. Most newly displaced families have settled in existing IDP sites in Abs district, joining relatives who had been previously displaced.

New arrivals have shown to further increase pressure on scarce services and resources shared by the already vulnerable populations residing on these sites. The lack of health and WASH services, as well as poor shelter conditions and constant shortage of food are increasing the vulnerability of those having found refuge in these informal settlements.

Inadequate shelter conditions on sites are forcing male and female family members to live separately in gender segregated areas and in makeshift and crowded shelters, placing a further burden on displaced families. This is triggering increasing tensions within the community given the lack of privacy when a husband visits his wife and children in female designated shelters, causing separation of family members (including children from one of their parents). Lack of privacy and safe access to WASH facilities represent a major challenge, particularly for women.

Additionally, children are not attending schools due to littler or no space in classrooms as well as long distance from sites to schools. Instead many children are being tasked to fetch water for their families.

The findings further show that needs are vast and across all sectors, including health, shelter, non-food items (NFIs), protection, and food security, for the newly displaced but also for the existing populations on sites. Some 95 families (570 individuals) are in urgent need of shelter assistance, NFIs, and cash to buy food, while some 90 households have reported not having access to WASH facilities. The assessments also revealed that at least five elderly persons with chronic medical conditions require urgent health interventions.

As armed clashes continue, UNHCR partners will continue assessing the needs of those currently displaced as well as newly displaced populations to inform about the most urgent interventions.