Yemen Floods Response Plan 2008

10 November 2008

Floods and heavy rains that affected eastern Yemen, particularly Wadi Hadramout valley and the coastal areas, from 24 to 25 October 2008 resulted in one of the most serious natural disasters in Yemen in the last decades.  Flash floods and surging waters killed at least 73 persons and forced an additional 20,000 to 25,000 people into displacement.  At least 3,264 predominantly mud-brick houses have been totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair, while hundreds of others are uninhabitable.  This is of particular concern in several Wadi Hadramout villages that have been listed as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites.  In addition to houses, several health facilities and an estimated 166 schools were damaged or destroyed.  The flooding and consequences, such as loss of livelihoods, impacted an estimated 650,000 people (half of Hadramout Governorate’s population), as surging water caused extensive damage to the local agriculture and honey production, washing away crops, palm trees and soil from the fields.  Prompt and generous assistance from the Government, neighbouring countries and the humanitarian community provided directly to Sayun and Al Mukalla has prevented a high number of deaths and suffering among the survivors.  The United Nations (UN) estimates that food, medicine and non-food items (NFIs), delivered through bilateral channels, will suffice for several weeks of the initial response to this emergency. 

The UN and humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) intend to focus activities on the short-term humanitarian needs of the affected populations in order to preserve the life and dignity of the affected population, as well as initiating early recovery activities to start restoration of livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities.  The timeline for international humanitarian assistance will range from two to six months, with the food assistance component expected to last until the next harvest in April 2009.  Simultaneously the UN and NGOs will implement projects focused on restoring livelihoods and preventing increased poverty, malnutrition and negative coping mechanisms amongst the most affected populations.  In the short term, international assistance will include a wide range of measures related to health and disease prevention, ensuring access to safe water supplies, and protection, with a special focus on documentation, registration and providing temporary shelter.  The UN is currently working with the Government of Yemen (GoY) to provide temporary shelter to some 20,000 to 25,000 persons affected by the floods, which may in turn require support to the temporary internally displaced person (IDP) settlements.  Permanent solutions to the housing challenges are being identified at the same time. 

The Yemen Floods Response Plan has been prepared based on the findings of a three-day UN/ International Organization for Migration (IOM) Rapid Needs Assessment Mission that visited Wadi Hadramout from 27 to 30 October, communication with the authorities of the two affected Governorates, and subsequent missions by UN staff, present in the affected area since 3 November. 

The UN and humanitarian NGOs present this Yemen Floods Response Plans and seek the overall funding of US$[1] 11.5 million in the areas of Food, Water and Sanitation, Health, Nutrition, Shelter / NFIs, Camp Coordination and Management, Protection, Education, and Livelihoods including agriculture.  More detailed financial requirements for early recovery in various sectors will be identified in the coming weeks in consultation with the GoY, as other needs are expected to emerge when the initial crisis period is over and detailed technical assessments are completed, to be presented in this appeal’s scheduled revision. 


[1]All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars.   Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@reliefweb.int), which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2008 page.


  

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10 November 2008

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