• The humanitarian situation in Ma’rib continued to be of concern, and with various waves of violence during the reporting period, the situation showed no signs of improvement. People’s lives remained to be impacted every day by fighting, and thousands were being displaced from their homes and displacement sites. Conflict continued as well as in Al Hodeidah, Taizz, and Al Jawf.
• In March, 30,317 IDPs were displaced, with the majority of displacement waves coming from Ma’rib, Al Hodeidah, Taizz and Al-Jawf, as internal displacement within governorates towards safer districts increased.
• The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) reached an additional 3,500 newly displaced families, 2,200 families of which were in Ma’rib (24,500 individuals). Beneficiaries received RRM kits that included food, family basic hygiene kits, and female dignity kits.
• As of 5 April 2021, there were 4,798 COVID-19 officially confirmed cases in Yemen, with 946 associated deaths and 1,738 recovered cases (resulting in a 19.7 per cent confirmed fatality rate). 382 suspected cases were health workers, or 4.78 per cent of the total cases.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
21 March marked the sixth anniversary of the conflict. The country remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with 20.7 million people – 71 per cent of the total population – in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict has left three million people, including 1.58 million children, internally displaced. 138,000 additional people have become migrants and 137,000 people are seeking asylum abroad.
While UNICEF vigorously continues its nutrition interventions, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) continues to plague children under five, with more than 395,195 children suffering from SAM in Yemen and 2.25 million children facing acute malnutrition according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). Nutritional needs continued to rise throughout March, and the lack of funding for emergency WASH interventions continues to threaten to undermine the integrated response. More than 15.4 million people urgently needed assistance to access WASH services. This shortfall has also heightened the risk of COVID-19 as well as waterborne diseases, including cholera and malnutrition. Approximately 20.1 million people still need health assistance. Women and children continue to be disproportionately affected, with 4.8 million women and 10.2 million children needing assistance to access health services during the reporting period.
As of 5 April 2021, there were 4,798 COVID-19 officially confirmed cases in Yemen, with 946 associated deaths and 1,738 recovered cases, resulting in a 19.7 per cent confirmed fatality rate (CFR). 382 suspected cases were health workers or 4.78 per cent of the total cases.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global shortages of COVID-19 supplies (e.g. personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators) and supply chain disruptions, putting additional pressures on the fragile health system and already poor healthcare infrastructure in Yemen. The pandemic’s effect on children’s access to education continued to suffer during March. More than 2.2 million children in Yemen continue to be out-of-schoolsince the beginning of the conflict in 2015. While schools are now open, an additional 1.4 million children who had their education disrupted due to school closures in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 continue to require additional support. The increased vulnerability of children and women to exploitation, violence, abuse, child labour, domestic and gender-based violence and child marriage remains a major problem in Yemen and continues to affect progress on outcomes for children.
Immunization coverage saw gains with the first phase of the second round of Integrated Outreach service delivery points in Sa’ada governorate reaching a total of 95,369 children. This brought the total number of children throughout the country receiving lifesaving vaccinations3 to 284,326 throughout the reporting period. UNICEF continues to closely coordinate with the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) to ensure the implementation of at least the second integrated outreach round (IOR) before June 2021 and 2-3 rounds of IOR in the second half of 2021. Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing with MoPHP to implement measles and diphtheria outbreak response activities, based on the availability of funds.
During the month of March, the UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (UNCTFMR) documented 24 incidents of grave violations against children, of which 92 per cent of the incidents were verified. The majority of verified violations this month were identified as child casualties, including 12 children killed (25 per cent girls), and incidents of maiming of 37 children (24 per cent girl) by various parties to the conflict. There were no verified cases of recruitment or use of children, nor rape this month. Attacks on one school and one hospital were verified, as well as one case of abduction (one boy). Most of the incidents documented and verified were in the governorates of Taizz (nine) and Al Hodeidah (four), reflecting the continuing intense fighting along frontlines in these areas. These are only figures that the UN has been able to verify to date; the actual number of incidents may be higher.