Yemen: New displacement as heavy fighting continues

7 June, 2011
IDPs next to their tents in Mazraq Camp. Up to 270,000 people had been displaced by the latest flare-up. Credit: IRIN/Adel Yahya
IDPs next to their tents in Mazraq Camp. Up to 270,000 people had been displaced by the latest flare-up. Credit: IRIN/Adel Yahya

As heavy fighting continues between government and anti-regime forces, some 4,000 urban refugees in Sana’a are seeking protection and relocation away from the city, leaving hundreds displaced within the capital, particularly in the Hasaba district.

The latest situation report from the Humanitarian Country Team in Yemen stresses that the political situation remains highly unstable. Sincethe civil unrest began in February at least 225 people have been killed, with 29 killed and over 100 injured since 1 June. The conflict has led to a sharp increase in humanitarian needs across the country, although a ceasefire has held since Saturday 4 June. There are concerns though of prolonged tribal conflict.

The high security risks make it difficult for medical staff to carry out their work, but ambulances were able to attend to people injured and to transport those killed and injured in clashes (3-4 June) to hospitals in Sana’a. Field and referral hospitals in the capital have received critical medical supplies and support through US$6.5 million of CERF rapid response funding.

Although humanitarian access remains restricted in parts of Abyan, Sana’a and Sada’a Governorates, an inter-agency rapid assessment was undertaken and found that at least 9,947 new IDPs (1,667 families) have been registered in schools and other public buildings in Aden, while 4,700 people have moved to Lahj from Zinjibar, where reports indicate that 95% of the local population has been displaced.

Humanitarian partners are working closely together to provide water, shelter, NFIs, food assistance and health services. In the Hasaba district of Sana’a, agencies have provided emergency payments to cover families’ loss of belongings and items like blankets, mattresses and water cans. In Aden, some 15 humanitarian partners are providing basic assistance and registering new IDPs. Heavy rains in the Hajjah Governorate have caused significant damage to shelters, services and provisions in IDP camps in the past week, while there also concerns that assistance to vulnerable migrants needs to be scaled up.

A national shortage of fuel is contributing to the rising costs of food and water in some urban locations, as well as affecting the delivery of humanitarian activities, especially health, water pumping, sanitation and hygiene services, and transport.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #1