In August 2022, the frontlines remained unchanged in Ma’rib governorate, which follows the same trend since the start of the truce in April. Daily reports of artillery fire occurred away from civilian centers to the south of Ma’rib City in Jabal Al-Balaq, Ar Rawdah and Al-Mala areas and to the west of the city in Al-KAsarah Al-Tala, and Ad Dashoush.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reported that around 392 displaced households (HHs) were displaced to or within Ma’rib governorate in August. Most households moved from Shabwah governorate and Al Jubah, Jabal Murad, and Harib districts in Ma’rib governorate to the already overcrowded areas of Ma’rib City and Ma’rib Al Wadi districts. The number of displaced households has increased in recent months (in July, 237 HHs were displaced) primarily due to the intensification of hostilities in Shabwah, the heavy flooding across Ma’rib, and the need for humanitarian assistance. The primary needs reported by internally displaced persons (IDPs) included shelter (40% of displaced respondents), food (29%), financial assistance (16%) non-food items (NFIs) (7%), and livelihoods (3%).
Over seven years of conflict has significantly damaged the public infrastructure of health facilities in a city whose population has swelled with increased arrivals of displaced families. Around 44 per cent of healthcare centers are not supported by humanitarian organizations and remain understaffed and without adequate medical equipment. Humanitarian organizations cover 125 displacement sites with 23 mobile medical teams (MMTs), which provide health care services twice a month to areas that do not have regular access to static healthcare facilities. However, close to 75 sites are not covered by MMTs and the need for fixed clinics has risen in larger displacement sites such as Al-Suweida camp, Al Nour camp, Al-Sit, Al-Arq al-Sharqi, Al-Kharashi and Al-Samiya sites.
Furthermore, a shortfall of donor funding has put IOM’s health programming in critical risk of closure in Ma’rib. In September, approximately 49,056 households or 258,189 individuals will be left without healthcare services in Ma’rib.
This will impact an estimated 10,649 pregnant women, 38,767 children, 42,744 people living with disability, and 1,830 migrants in Ma’rib. If the funding gap continues, IOM will close around three of its MMTs and cut half of its support to Al Shaheed Muhammed Hail Hospital and Al Jufainah Field Hospital. As such, IOM is urgently appealing for humanitarian funding to continue operating its health facilities and mobile teams in Ma’rib.
According to the CCCM Cluster, widespread flooding impacted up to 11,900 households or over 70,000 individuals living in displacement sites. An estimated 936 displaced families in 74 sites have completely damaged shelters and need immediate emergence shelter assistance. Another 10,964 families have their partially damaged shelters needing minor repairs or plastic sheets. In different sites managed by IOM, the Society for Humanitarian Solidarity, and ACTED, an estimated 595 households live in flood pathways. IOM and the CCCM Cluster are working with the Executive Unit for IDP Camps Management to relocate the displaced families to safer locations.
Despite the heavy rainfall, fire incidents continued to occur across displacement sites in Ma’rib due to the summer heat and wind, hazardous electrical connections and unsafe cooking practices. Many IDPs connected to electricity have not installed suitable wiring connections or electrical breakers which can lead to unsafe overloading of plugs, short circuits and fires. In August, five fire incidents took place in IOM sites in Ma’rib from hazardous electric connections, primarily due to the lack of awareness on electrical hazards. IOM has conducted widespread awareness sessions on fire hazards, supported fire wardens and committees with training and equipment and improved the electricity network in six sites.