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Yemen: Access Snapshot - April to June 2022 (As of 30 June 2022)

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Humanitarian access in Yemen remains challenging in general; most access incidents remain driven by bureaucratic impediments, mainly by movement delays. Access challenges have been diverse. The second quarter of 2022 saw a moderate decrease in incidents that impacted the safety and security of aid workers. Humanitarians are working to adapt to these diverse challenges to continue delivering assistance to those most in need. Over the second quarter of 2022, humanitarian partners reported 532 access incidents in 88 districts within 18 governorates across Yemen, affecting 5.5 million people. Almost 55 per cent of the reported incidents pertained to bureaucratic constraints imposed by the authorities, causing restrictions on the movement of humanitarian agencies’ staff and commodities within Yemen. These include travel permit denials or delays and cancellations of missions and field travel activities.

Movement restrictions within Yemen were the predominant type of reported access incidents in the second quarter of 2022. Data shows a decrease of 39.2 per cent in the overall number of incidents, i.e., 187 fewer incidents, compared with the first quarter of 2022. This decrease in restrictions is attributed partly to the advocacy carried out by the humanitarian leadership. About 89 per cent of these incidents were recorded in Ansarullah (AA)-controlled areas. Operations and activities which require the travel of female national staff have become very challenging for all humanitarian agencies where the local authorities demand a Mahram (a close male relative) to accompany female Yemeni aid workers when traveling on field missions, leading to the cancellation of field visits and aid deliveries. These challenges have been prevalent across Ansarullah (AA)-controlled areas; and recently in a few tribal-influenced governorates controlled by the Government of Yemen (GoY) like Marib, Abyan, and Lahj. Another major restriction pertained to movement inside and outside Yemen was also imposed by the Ansarullah (AA) authority and affected the movement of all Yemeni national aid workers. The Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (SCMCHA) issued a circular instructing that all Yemeni aid workers (be they working with the UN, INGOs or NNGOs) obtain a travel permit prior to participating in any events (workshops, trainings, any other events) abroad; the same requirement was also applied to travel from Sana’a to Aden.

During the reporting period, interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities by the authorities in Yemen was frequently reported. A total of 58 interference incidents were reported in the second quarter, compared with 63 incidents in the first. Many of these (24 incidents or 42.1 per cent) concerned delays, denials, and/or cancellations pertaining to the approval of project sub-agreements. Some progress in expediting approvals was made in late 2021 and continued throughout the first and second quarters of 2022. Still, humanitarian partners continue to engage both the GoY and AA authorities to establish accountable and principled procedures for timely approvals of INGO project sub-agreements. Other types of interference – like suspension and disruption of humanitarian activities, interference in project design and activities, and arbitrary demands for various information, data, documentation, reports, and tools were reported by partners, with 26 incidents (45.6 per cent) attributed to GoY authorities, 20 incidents (35.1 per cent) attributed to AA authorities and 12 incidents (21.1 per cent) to unknown armed elements.

Violence against humanitarian personnel assets and facilities continues to be a major issue for humanitarian partners, especially those who work in direct interaction with communities and armed actors. This quarter shows an increase of 40.3 per cent, with 57 incidents reported compared with 34 incidents in the first quarter of 2022. The severity and impact of these incidents (e.g., carjacking, Abductions , intimidation, etc.) are far more serious and concerning than bureaucratic constraints, leading to temporary suspensions of movement and aid delivery in several governates, while the humanitarian leadership continued to advocate and engage to mitigate these risks.

Humanitarian partners reported 405 incidents pertained to movement restrictions within and into Yemen. Restriction of movement of organizations’ personnel or goods within Yemen remains the predominant type of access constraint with 290 incidents reported (54.9 per cent) followed by restriction of movement of organizations personnel or goods into Yemen with 115 incidents reported (21.6 per cent).

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