Needs persist along Red Sea while hostilities subside
Armed clashes had relatively subsided along the Red Sea coast and the new frontlines in southern Al Hodeidah, which since the deployment of Government of Yemen (GoY) aligned forces in 11 November had extended from the southern border of At Tuhayta District, going eastwards through Hays and Al Jarahi districts to Jabal Ras District. However, hostilities, including artillery shelling and airstrikes, continued in several hotspots, including Al Al Haymah in At Tuhayta and in Hays, along the borders with the neighboring Jarahi and Jabal Ras districts. Fighting, including airstrikes, has also persisted in Maqbanah District in Ta’iz Governorate.
According to the GoY’s Executive Unit for Displaced Persons, some 3,176 families (about 22,232 individuals) were displaced by the end of December, largely to GoY-controlled areas in Al Khukhah District in Al Hodeidah and Al Makha and other areas in Ta’iz Government. Most of these families were displaced following the redeployment of GoY-aligned forces from several areas in Al Hodeidah and due to the continuing hostilities in Maqbanah District. Further displacement was reported as a result of the advance by GoY-aligned forces toward Hays District on 17 November, which is now almost entirely under GoY control. The Supreme Council of the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (SCMCHA) reported that some 6,070 families (approximately 42,490 persons) had been displaced from contested areas in At Tuhayta, Al Jarrahi, Jabal Ras, and Hays districts to de facto authorities (DFA)-controlled areas in Al Hodeidah Governorate.
Humanitarian partners have been extending urgent lifesaving assistance to displaced people in both sides of the new frontlines. In Al Khukhah and Al Makha along the Red Sea coast and other areas in Ta’iz Governorate, aid partners have provided Rapid Response Mechanism kits – a package of critical lifesaving assistance to be provided to newly displaced persons within 72 hours of displacement – to a total of 2,338 families. Partners also provided NFIs and emergency shelter kits (ESKs) to 1,721 families, cash support to 1,305 families, hygiene kits to 1,515 families, and food assistance to 1,356 families. In the meantime, health partners have supported Hays Hospital with equipment and medical supplies and deployed four mobile health clinics in Al Khukhah District.
In areas controlled by the DFA, partners have by the end of December provided RRM kits to 2,236 displaced families, NFIs to 2,221 families, ESKs to 1,458 families, and cash assistance to 828 families. Health partners have deployed five mobile health teams to districts affected by recent hostilities and provided support, including operational costs, incentives for health workers, equipment and medical supplies, to several health facilities.
Needs persist as the flow of displaced people to safer areas in Al Hodeidah and Ta’iz governorates has continued, albeit at a slower pace. Moreover, situation in Hays Al Jarahi and Jabal Ras districts in Al Hodeidah and Maqbanah District in Ta’iz remains volatile, with sudden large-scale displacement remaining a possibility.
Partners delivering assistance on the ground have continued to face access and logistical challenges. Bureaucratic impediments, including interference by the local authorities and delays in granting clearances for the transport of humanitarian supplies and authorizing rapid needs assessments to verify needs, have posed challenges for partners on the ground. Mines continue to pose a major safety risk. While extensive demining activities have been reported in areas vacated by GoY-aligned forces in Al Hodeidah, aid partners have been reluctant to travel to areas on the outskirts of Hays City, despite initial reports indicating the presence of IDPs there, due to the safety risks posed by mines. The lack of NFIs and shelter supplies and the unavailability of storage capacity have also posed a challenge.