Displaced families relocated from schools in Ta’iz Governorate
The Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, accompanied by the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Chief of Mission in Yemen, Christa Rottensteiner and other UN officials, visited Ma’rib on 20 March to see first-hand the growing humanitarian needs of displaced families, including those newly displaced following the most recent escalation of hostilities there, which began in the first week of February. Mr. Gressly visited two displacement sites, where he met with internally displaced people and community members.
During the two-day visit, Mr. Gressly also met with local authorities, including the Governor of Ma’rib, and with humanitarian partners working on the ground. He also met the strengthened field coordination fora recently introduced by OCHA in Ma’rib, which was well received by authorities and partners.
The armed confrontations that erupted in several districts of Ma’rib in the first week of February 2021 have led to the displacement of at least 2,133 families (about 15,000 people) as of 25 March, according to IOM. Many of those displaced are from Sirwah District, which saw some of the heaviest fighting. Most of the newly displaced people reported being displaced for the third or fourth time, and many are living in extremely precarious conditions. Ma’rib Governorate hosts the largest IDP population in Yemen, according to local authorities – with some living in approximately 125 IDP sites. Sirwah District hosts around 30,000 displaced people in at least 14 displacement sites.
Earlier, Mr. Gressly, accompanied by OCHA Head of Office, visited Al Hodeidah, including the Al Hodeidah seaport, over the period 6 to 8 March, to assess the humanitarian situation and discuss ways of addressing the immense humanitarian challenges in the governorate. In his meeting with local authorities, including Al Hodeidah’s acting Governor, Mr. Gressly emphasized the need to de-escalate hostilities and grant relief organizations the necessary access to aid people in need across the governorate. Mr. Gressly also met with humanitarian partners and had the opportunity to speak to families affected by the conflict, including displaced people.
Al Hodeidah is one of the governorates with the highest severity of needs in Yemen. More than 2.57 million of the 20.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen live in the governorate. More than one million people living in Al Hodeidah face a crisis level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) or above, and the governorate is one of six in Yemen with acute malnutrition rates exceeding the 15 per cent World Health Organization (WHO) emergency threshold.