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2018 Yemen Multi-Cluster Location Assessment [EN/AR]


1. Executive Summary

More than three and a half years since the escalation of conflict in Yemen, the civilian population continues to bear the burden of active conflict and economic decline, while suffering from extreme hunger and the deterioration of infrastructure. In this context of severe needs and scarce resources, the Multi Cluster Locations Assessment (MCLA) was designed and implemented based on the imperative to address information gaps and improve evidence-based humanitarian resource allocation across geographical areas, sectors, and population groups. More specifically, the MCLA aimed at providing a nationwide evidence base for the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO).

The MCLA Technical Working Group (TWG) leading the exercise was formed in May 2018 by the Assessment and Monitoring Working Group (AMWG). It is composed of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and it worked in close coordination with the Inter Cluster Coordination Mechanism (ICCM) and relevant authorities. With the support of clusters, the TWG designed the MCLA questionnaire so as to assess the local demographic profile, displacement dynamics, key vulnerabilities, access to basic services, and humanitarian needs of six population groups: internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, host communities (HC), non-host communities (non-HC), refugees, and migrants. Furthermore, the MCLA sought to identify the forms of humanitarian aid received by the affected populations, and their alignment with minimum standards and priority needs.

The MCLA covered 331 out of the 333 districts in Yemen and completed 8,024 questionnaires through more than 21,000 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) conducted between September and November 2018 in 6,791 locations. The number of KIIs conducted per population group was proportional to the sizes of the target population groups in Yemen, and the target locations were randomly selected within each district. As the information collected in the MCLA is based on KIIs and is therefore not statistically representative, figures produced by the MCLA should be considered as indicative and interpreted as trends.

MCLA results provide valuable information for strategic-level decision-making. So as to enable the understanding of the most pressing humanitarian needs across sectors in Yemen, KIs were asked to indicate the top three most important needs of the female and male populations. Food was consistently reported as the top priority need for all population groups in the country, though food assistance was frequently reported to be the most common type of humanitarian assistance received by each population group across the country. These findings serve to further reinforce the severity of the food insecurity crisis in Yemen.

MCLA results also indicated that the assessed population groups also had a severe need for livelihood opportunities (source of income). Livelihoods were ranked by KIs in the top three priority needs for all population groups but migrants. In line with these findings, MCLA results further indicated that regular and sustainable livelihoods were considered by KIs as a basic need rarely achieved in Yemen, available to less than half of the population in 88% of districts. The limited access to sustainable livelihoods was most often explained by the lack of available economic opportunities. Similarly, findings clearly exhibited that the restricted physical accessibility of markets was a widespread issue, with less than half of the population being able to reach them. KIs reported that several types of livelihood resources would be needed to enable affected populations to sustainably cope with the crisis, and frequently indicated hand tools as being valuable assets required by the assessed population groups.

Aside from identifying the most pressing needs of the assessed population, the MCLA also collected information on access to basic services in Yemen, which highlighted that a large segment of the population was unable to fulfil their basic needs due to limited access to health care, water and sanitation, and education services. Overall, the MCLA findings showed that approximately half of the population had access to sufficient quantities of water and to safe and functioning latrines, and that less than half of school-aged children attended school. They also recorded high proportions of populations facing problems with health facilities (29%) and requiring shelter and NFI assistance (52% of the IDP, returnee, HC, and non-HC population).

The MCLA also provides some clarity on the humanitarian context in Yemen by assessing the biggest challenges faced by affected populations when trying to access basic services and fulfil fundamental needs. The price of medicines was the most frequently reported problem encountered in health facilities, overcrowded shelters the most frequently reported shelter-related issue faced by IDPs and returnees, and the inability to afford basic household items the most commonly reported NFI-related issue faced by these two groups. This emphasizes the impact of the lack of a regular source of income on affected populations’ ability to fulfil their basic needs and maintain resilience through the crisis.

Furthermore, additional information collected by the MCLA indicate that the forms of humanitarian aid offered to people in need were not always consistent with their highest priority needs. The limited provision of livelihood support reported by KIs, for example, contrasts with the severe need for economic opportunities and sustainable sources of income. According to KIs, the humanitarian assistance available in Yemen also rarely met minimum standards. The highest rate of populations receiving aid that was said to meet these standards across population groups and sectors was only of 52% (of refugees receiving education assistance). Despite this common disconnect between humanitarian assistance and priority needs or minimum standards, at most only 52% of a population group (refugees) was reported to know how to provide feedback to humanitarian service providers on the aid received.

Finally, the MCLA also provides relevant information to improve evidence-based humanitarian resource allocation across geographical areas and population groups. The effects of the crisis were reported to be more serious in the governorates of Hajjah, which was associated with concerning figures on access to health facilities, sufficient quantities of water, safe and functioning latrines, and sustainable livelihoods. Findings also indicated higher severity in Taizz, which had concerning findings regarding the need for shelter, and access to sufficient quantities of water, safe and functioning latrines, and sustainable livelihoods. In Al Maharah, where KIs reported the highest rate of the overall population facing problems with health facilities, no IDPs, returnees, refugees, or migrants were reported to know how to provide feedback to humanitarian agencies on the assistance received. With regard to needs across population groups, MCLA findings pointed to refugees and migrants as the groups facing the most severe humanitarian situation, being consistently associated with the lowest rates of access to basic services and proportions of people unable to fulfil their basic needs assessed in the MCLA.

As the humanitarian crisis in Yemen continues to worsen, despite the extensive scope of the 2018 MCLA, it is imperative that the best practices identified by this exercise serve as a strong basis to foster enhanced assessment and monitoring moving forward into 2019, as well as evidence-based comparative humanitarian needs analysis related to the Yemen response.

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Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
19 Jan 2019
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Snapshot