Media Advisory (Last updated on: 23 Jun 2021)
Mine Action protects thousands of civilians across Yemen (23 June 2021)
The recent accusation by media outlets that UNDP Yemen is procuring food to feed employee’s personal pet animals is unequivocally false. The dog food is being procured for Mine Detection dogs working to protect thousands of Yemenis across the country on a daily basis from explosive hazards.
IOM Calls for the Release of Migrants from Detention Centers (9 March 2021)
For years, IOM has strongly and publicly advocated against the use of migrant detention centres in Yemen and continues to call for all migrants to be released from detention, particularly those held in inhumane conditions. Yemen is a transit country for tens of thousands of vulnerable migrants travelling between the Horn of Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All people throughout Yemen, including migrants, should be afforded protection and safety while in the country; the responsibility for which lies with the authorities of the territory. IOM is truly committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society and the Organization is guided by the principles in the Charter of the United Nations, including upholding human rights for all. Respect for dignity and well-being of migrants also remains paramount to our work; it is not IOM’s responsibility to establish or run migrant detention centres in Yemen. IOM can offer extensive humanitarian support to migrants outside detention, if independent access is possible. If authorities chose to detain migrants, then the conditions must meet international standards with regards to issues such as space, water and sanitation, while respecting human dignity. This was and is not the case in the immigration holding facility in Sana'a, as horrifically shown by the deadly impact of the fire. As the conditions did not meet standards, IOM was present in the holding facility to provide vital humanitarian assistance, including health care, food and protection services. We strongly call for the holding facility not to be reopened. In response to the fire, IOM quickly deployed large teams of doctors, nurses and other humanitarian workers, as well as extensive medical supplies, to help the victims in support of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, while also supporting hospitals. Please read find more about IOM's response in our latest release: https://www.iom.int/news/yemen-urgent-humanitarian-access-needed-migrant-survivors-deadly-holding-facility-fire.
المنظمة الدولية للهجرة تدعو إلى إطلاق سراح المهاجرين من مراكز الاحتجاز
دأبت المنظمة الدولية للهجرة منذ سنوات على الدعوة بصورة علنية وحثيثة إلى الكفِّ عن استخدام مراكز احتجاز المهاجرين في اليمن، وتواصل دعوتها إلى إطلاق سراح جميع المهاجرين من مراكز الاحتجاز، لا سيما أولئك المحتجزين في ظروف غير إنسانية. فاليمن بلد عبورٍ لعشرات الآلاف من المهاجرين الذين يسافرون بين القرن الأفريقي والمملكة العربية السعودية. ويجب توفير الحماية والأمان لجميع الأشخاص في كافة أنحاء اليمن، بمن فيهم المهاجرون طيلة بقائهم في البلد، وتقع المسؤولية في ذلك على عاتق السلطات في المنطقة. وتظل المنظمة الدولية للهجرة ملتزمةً بمبدأ أن الهجرة الإنسانية والمنظمة تعود بالنفع على المهاجرين والمجتمع، وتسترشد المنظمة بالمبادئ الواردة في ميثاق الأمم المتحدة، والتي تتضمن مبدأ احترام حقوق الإنسان للجميع. وفي إطار عمل المنظمة، فإن احترام كرامة المهاجرين وسلامتهم أمر بالغ الأهمية، وليس من مسؤولية المنظمة الدولية للهجرة إنشاء أو تشغيل مراكز احتجاز للمهاجرين في اليمن. ويمكن أن تقدم المنظمة الدولية للهجرة دعماً إنسانياً واسعاً للمهاجرين خارج مرافق الاحتجاز، إذا أمكن الوصول إليهم بشكل مستقل. وفي حال اختارت السلطات احتجاز المهاجرين، فيجب أن تتوافق ظروف الاحتجاز مع المعايير الدولية المتعلقة بقضايا مثل المساحة والمياه والصرف الصحي، وكذلك احترام كرامة الإنسان. ولكن لم يكن هذا هو الحال – وما يزال – في مرفق احتجاز المهاجرين في صنعاء، كما يتضح بشكل مرعب من الأثر القاتل الذي خلفه الحريق. ونظراً لعدم موافقة الظروف للمعايير، كانت المنظمة الدولية للهجرة متواجدة في مرفق الاحتجاز لتقديم المساعدات الإنسانية الحيوية، بما في ذلك الرعاية الصحية، والغذاء، وخدمات الحماية. لذا، فإننا ندعو بشدة إلى عدم إعادة فتح مرفق الاحتجاز. واستجابةً للحريق، نشرت المنظمة الدولية للهجرة على وجه السرعة فرقاً كبيرة من الأطباء والممرضين والعاملين في المجال الإنساني، فضلاً عن توفير الإمدادات الطبية على نطاق واسع، لدعم وزارة الصحة العامة والسكان وكذلك المستشفيات لمساعدة الضحايا. يرجى قراءة المزيد حول استجابة المنظمة الدولية للهجرة في آخر بيان صحفي لها في هذا الصدد
UNICEF STATEMENT ON ITS WORK WITH THE MINISTRY OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENT IN SANA’A (30 Sep 2020)
“Since the escalation of the conflict in Yemen in 2015, UNICEF’s priority has been to stay and deliver—to rapidly respond and meet the urgent needs of children as well as provide support critical to avoid the total collapse of basic services.
The utilization of UNICEF funds and resources is based on the needs of the most vulnerable established through assessments. In doing so, UNICEF ensures the best use of its resources and that they are effectively contributing to alleviate the situation of the child.
UNICEF supports partners to implement programmes for children by providing technical and financial support- and in some cases this includes operational costs.
UNICEF has in place a set of measures that are applied to all partners to whom it provides cash assistance. These measures include ensuring that funds are provided based on clear needs and budget as the basis of monitoring the utilization of the funds. The use of such funds is closely monitored through a range of verification modalities, including; spot checks, site visits, provision of proofs of payments and comprehensive reports on results achieved.
We constantly review and build on all our risk mitigation and control measures to make sure programmes are delivered efficiently and effectively to children in need.”
UNICEF and WHO confirm that polio vaccines are safe and have not expired (28 July 2020)
A lifesaving vaccination campaign is ongoing in 12 governorates in Yemen. Children are being provided with the polio vaccine and vitamin A micronutrient supplements to help protect them from preventable disease. Strict COVID-19 prevention measures are being practiced in the interests of public health. WHO and UNICEF confirm that the vaccines are safe for use. These vaccines have not expired and, as with our vaccine cold chains globally, have been stored safely.
WHO-provided COVID-19 test kits, made in Germany, the same as those in 120 other countries (1 June 2020)
"A recent press statement issued by local health authorities in Sana'a over the weekend made mention of the "ineffectiveness and inefficiency" of the solutions and swabs that are part of the COVID-19 PCR testing kits provided to Yemen. The statement went on further to say that as a result of this, false positive results were generated when "non-human and unexpected samples" were tested, the findings of which would be revealed by local health authorities in a press conference in the coming days.
As a matter of clarification, the batch of almost 7000 COVID-19 test kits provided to Yemen by WHO, are the same PCR test kits provided to over 120 countries. WHO provided over 6 million PCR test kits to 120 countries worldwide, and an estimated 2 million of these kits were manufactured by TIB Molbiol, a company based in Germany. The TIB Molbiol PCR test kits are the ones Yemen received.
The importation of all medical supplies, medical equipment and consumables is subject to approval by health authorities.
Criteria for use and wide distribution of PCR test kits (1 June 2020)
The WHO engages in rigorous criteria when adopting a test for use and wide distribution to its Member States. The WHO criteria for a test provider, at the time the decision was made to work with this particular manufacturer, TIB Molbiol, included ensuring that this company and its products met ISO standards. ISO standards are used by countries worldwide to ensure that quality and safety of products and services destined for international trade meet global standards. The PCR test kits manufactured by TIB Molbiol met ISO standards (ISO: 13485) for quality manufacturing. The kits were tested and validated by three external laboratories, and the validation results were published in a peer reviewed journal. "
About media reports of 385 deaths in Aden (18 May 2020)
Recent media reports alleging that 385 deaths in Aden were due to COVID-19 are misleading. The United Nations, through WHO and its partners, are investigating the reasons for the high number of deaths recently reported in Aden. As of 18 May, the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID- deaths in Aden is 20.
In recent statements, the Humanitarian Coordinator expressed concern that COVID-19 is now actively circulating in communities, unmitigated, and the United Nations is operating on the basis that there is community transmission of the virus in Yemen. Several articles published between 7 and 12 May by local media outlets indicated a higher number of COVID-19 deaths that the number officially announced, and some mentioned 385 deaths. The situation undoubtedly warrants further investigation but these deaths cannot be assumed to be as a result of COVID-19.
There are multiple infectious diseases circulating in Aden that are endemic in the area including viral hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever and diphtheria. A slight increase in the number of cases of these diseases has been registered recently, a 2 per cent increase since the start of the year, though the overall mortality rate is consistent with the same period in 2019. Due to seasonality, a spike is expected in these diseases.
Under the International Health Regulations, it is the responsibility of national health authorities to announce global health threats such as the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths, and WHO relies on local health authorities to be transparent in the numbers it declares. It is the role of the WHO to advise national authorities on how to respond to disease outbreaks based on the evidence provided by the health authorities.
There is, however, an increase in the number of patients presenting to health facilities exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Limited testing capacity in Yemen is one reason why accurate data is limited. As of 18 May, the authorities have reported 132 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths across the country, and the majority of the cases are reported from Aden and other southern governorates. These figures likely to be an underestimation as community transmission of COVID-19 spreads across Yemen. Preparedness and response measures are being accelerated as a matter of urgency to reduce the spread of the virus.
WHO is working with authorities to scale up COVID-19 response in Yemen (14 May 2020)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Yemen did not shut down or suspended its operations as alleged in some sections of the media. It temporarily paused its staff movements in the evening of 9 May in northern areas after receiving credible threats which could have an impacted on their security due to negative social media activity. After a review of the situation on 10 May, the pause was lifted and this did not impact WHO operations.
Using existing resources, even as they try to mobilize additional funds, WHO has taken decisive steps and has moved swiftly to support the authorities in preventing, containing and responding to the threat of COVID-19. WHO in Yemen reiterates the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’s call for unity and for everyone to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences. For more information on what the United Nations is doing in Yemen to address COVID-19, please see the latest snapshot: https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-covid-19-preparedness-and-response-snapshot-9-may-2020-enar
In line with International Health Regulations (article VI), announcing and managing any potential threat to global health security, including disease, is the responsibility of national authorities (11 May 2020)
It should be noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) does not announce cases and deaths of COVID-19, this is the responsibility of the relevant authorities in the country. However, WHO follows the announcement by the Yemeni health authorities of confirmed cases and issues media statements if necessary. The WHO can only provide technical, evidence-based guidance and advise the countries it supports, and the same holds true for Yemen. In addition, WHO helps governments to enhance its health systems to respond to COVID-19.
Concern over COVID-19 discrimination against migrants (11 May 2020)
Nearly a month after the first case was reported in Aden, the authorities announced the first case in Sana’a City, that of a Somali refugee. Migrants in Yemen are being stigmatized as “transmitters of disease”. Xenophobia and scapegoating campaigns are leading to retaliation against these vulnerable communities, including physical and verbal harassment, forced quarantine, denial of access to health services, movement restrictions, and forced movements to frontline and desert areas, leaving them stranded without food, water and essential services.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and partners have ensured the inclusion of migrants in the public health response led by the Yemeni authorities, with the support of the humanitarian community – an important step towards non-discrimination.
To help protect communities and the migrants they host from the virus, WHO, IOM and humanitarian partners have worked to increase migrant awareness of COVID-19 across the country. Both organizations are increasing the health services they provide for all people in Yemen, as well as other assistance to ensure access to clean water and essential hygiene items. The priority health needs of migrants are included in all response activities targeting the population across Yemen.
WHO and IOM call on the national authorities and the people of Yemen to continue their longstanding charitable acceptance of, and support to, vulnerable communities, including migrants.
WHO and partners have moved quickly to prepare and equip facilities in case people become ill (11 May 2020)
WHO is operating on the assumption that community transmission is already taking place across the Yemen, and continues, with partners, to support national and health counterparts with the limited resources at hand. Additional resources are being mobilized, in the context of major global shortages of essential supplies and equipment to respond to COVID-19.
The WHO Health Response Plan has eight pillars:
- Country-level coordination, planning and monitoring to ensure information sharing in real time between health and non- health sector forums and ensuring adherence to a common plan for COVID-19 by all actors.
- 26 Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) have been repurposed to serve as the backbone of the COVID-19 response. Ten EOCs are operational in the south and 13 in the north, 2 are at the central level in Aden and Sana’a, and one more is opening in Taizz.
- 4 COVID-19 hotlines established and supported by WHO – 2 in Sana’a and 2 in Aden).
- Risk communication and community engagement to engage the community, to dispel any rumours and ensure people understand the evolution of the disease and how to protect themselves.
* Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials are being developed and circulated to relevant facilities and points of entries.
* Media attacks, rumours and news stories are being tracked rigorously and are informing the communication strategy.
- Surveillance, rapid response teams (RRTs), and case investigation to ensure that in less than 24 hours all rumours, alerts and suspected cases are investigated.
* Repurposed thus far: 333 RRTs (1,665 staff).
* RRT trainings are currently ongoing; a total of 95 staff have already been trained as trainers and equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE)
* Contact tracing and case investigations are being carried out, but there are patient access and security challenges.
- Points of Entry (POE): to ensure that each POE is well equipped and has the necessary resources to support COVID-19 surveillance (steps for quarantine and isolation if necessary) and risk communication, 82 per cent of entry points have screening capacity as of 26 April (22 out of 27).
- National laboratories to ensure that the laboratory network identified for laboratory testing for COVID-19 have the appropriate capacity and readiness to manage large-scale testing in a timely manner with skilled personnel, equipment and laboratory supplies.
* There are now four functional central public health laboratories (CPHLs); in Aden, Sana’a, Sayoun, and Taizz, and four more are to come online.
* 28 laboratory technicians have been trained thus far with more trainings planned.
* 6,700 PCR reactions have been provided for testing (3,500 Sanaa and 3,200 Aden); 300 tests from Aden transported to both Al Mukalla and Taizz.
- Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) strategies systematically applied to prevent or limit COVID-19 virus transmission in health settings as well as in other settings, including hospitals, households, schools, mosques and during mass gatherings.
* A total of 38 isolation units have been identified and are being supported by WHO.
* Equipment has been provided to 32 (17 in the south and 15 in the north).
- Case management and continuity of services to ensure that healthcare facilities in Yemen are prepared to receive an increase in number of suspected cases of COVID-19.
* As of 9 May, there are 520 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 154 ventilators in country.
* Oxygen – 11, 717 cylinders being refilled each month across the country.
* 672 medical staff have been trained on IEC, and case management; an additional 120 nurses are being trained on COVID-19 specific protocols.
- Operational support and logistics to provide appropriate support to all other pillars and ensure that resources and supply systems in health and other sectors are functional.
* 1,000 ICU beds, 417 ventilators and 52,400 tests in the pipeline.
* Oxygen – 11, 717 cylinders being refilled, each month, across the country.
* Medical distributions as of 30 April: 43 defibrillators; 17 electrocardiograms; 94 infusion pumps; 155 monitors; 220 pulse oximeters; 52 infrared thermometers; 9 ultrasound systems 154 ventilators. Total number of PPE distributed – 232,114 units (apron, gloves, surgical gowns, masks, boots and more are in the pipeline.
See the last Yemen COVID-19 response snapshot: https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-covid-19-preparedness-and-response-snapshot-2-may-2020-enar
Stay safe during Ramadan
Taking the opportunity in this holy month, WHO wishes all Yemenis health and peace, and calls on them to act in solidarity and adhere to the protection measures to protect themselves and families from COVID-19. Please be advised that WHO did not sponsor any of the Ramadan series that are shown on Yemeni TV channels this year.
WHO, IOM raise concern over COVID-19 discrimination against migrants in Yemen
Cairo, 10 May 2020 – COVID-19’s presence in Yemen was officially confirmed on 10 April. Nearly a month later, Sana’a city’s first case was announced, that of a Somali refugee. Migrants in the country are being stigmatized as “transmitters of disease”. Xenophobia and scapegoating campaigns are leading to retaliation against these vulnerable communities, including physical and verbal harassment, forced quarantine, denial of access to health services, movement restrictions, and forced movements to frontline and desert areas, leaving them stranded without food, water and essential services.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) call on national authorities and the people of Yemen to continue their longstanding charitable acceptance of, and support to, vulnerable communities, including migrants.
“This virus respects no borders—it targets everyone, regardless of race, political affiliation or geographical location. There is absolutely no evidence that one group of people is more responsible for its transmission than another. There are, however, groups of people who are more vulnerable as a result of having pre-existing medical conditions and/or limited access to care, especially in emergency settings. It is our collective duty to prioritize and protect these groups. This is a global pandemic, and the only way to fight it is do so together. No one is safe until everyone is safe,” said Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Migrants travel through Yemen intending to reach other countries in the Gulf. Although the numbers of arrivals in Yemen has decreased as a result of the pandemic — from 11 101 in January to 1725 in April — many migrants and refugees remain stranded in Yemen, having begun their journey before movements were restricted. An increasing number face crowded and often unsanitary conditions in transit, detention and quarantine centres.
“Migrants should not be stigmatized or associated with the risk of importing diseases. It is conditions on the route from Africa to the Arabian Gulf, including barriers to health services, poor living and working conditions and exploitation, which pose serious health risks. We must join together to address these risks and stop stigmatization,” said Carmela Godeau, IOM Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
WHO, IOM and partners have ensured the inclusion of migrants in the public health response led by the Yemeni authorities, with the support of the humanitarian community — an important step towards non-discrimination that needs to be actioned on the ground.
To help protect themselves and the communities hosting them from the virus, WHO, IOM and humanitarian partners have increased migrant awareness of COVID-19 across the country. The Organizations are also increasing health services for all people in Yemen, as well as other assistance to ensure access to clean water and essential hygiene items. The priority health needs of migrants are included in all response activities targeting the population in Yemen as a whole.
With an increasing number of people who have COVID-19 confirmed in Yemen, people across the country need support now more than ever to combat the spread of the virus and ensure that the most vulnerable communities — including displaced people and migrants — have access to health services and information on preventative measures.
About the first COVID-19 case in Sana’a (11 May 2020)
On 5 May 2020, authorities in the north announced the death of a member of the Somali refugee community in Sana’a due to COVID-19. This refugee had been a long term resident in Yemen since he arrived in the country to seek safety as a child. He was recognized by the authorities as a refugee and had held a refuge certificate issued by National Bureau of Refugee Affairs in Sana’a. The refugee had a pre-existing health condition which made him especially vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance. Like many other vulnerable displaced Yemenis and refugees, he was receiving financial assistance through UNHCR.
UNHCR is confident that both the authorities and the Yemeni population will continue to demonstrate their long-standing welcoming tradition to vulnerable communities like refugees fleeing conflicts and persecutions in other countries, as well as to displaced Yemeni families. As the country is facing the threat of COVID-19, only a response that includes everyone without distinction of origin or status will protect the entire country as the virus does not make any distinction.
Aid agencies are responding to the needs of people affected by floods in Aden
23 April 2020: The Government of Yemeni has declared the situation in Aden City a disaster on 21 April, as floods caused multiple casualties and severe material damage in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Taizz, Al Dhale’e, Shabwah and Hadramaut governorates. At least ten people were killed and many others injured. The floods damaged houses, private property and infrastructure.
Initial assessments indicate that up to 5,540 displaced families have been affected in 69 sites . In addition, one hundred families were displaced to two schools in Mualla District in Aden City. Following assessments, humanitarian partners are supporting the disludging of floodwater and distributing food, non-food items and emergency shelter kits. Humanitarian partners are scaling up the delivery of assistance to identified needs in various locations.
The Camp Management and Camp Coordination (CCCM) Cluster is working with the Executive Unit for IDPs (ExU) to assess needs and mobilize an immediate response to support displaced families. Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster partners have desludged water in various sites and distributed hygiene kits and clean drinking water to the affected families. Partners estimate that 36 sites in the seven governorates require dislodging interventions.
Shelter Cluster partners are distributing Emergency Shelter Kits (ESK) and Non-Food Items (NFI) to respond to urgent needs. Meanwhile, the Food Security and Agriculture (FSAC) Cluster has started distributing thousands of food rations to affected families. It has already conducted a food security assessment to evaluate the extent of damage on food resources, access, coping strategies as well as response options.
The Health Cluster is currently coordinating with partners to support basic preventive and curative health services to people living in affected areas, including mental health and psycho-social services and mobile health teams. Meanwhile, teams mobilized by the Protection Cluster are visiting affected locations to conduct assessments and identify gaps and urgent needs.
An aid worker airlifted from Aden was not a suspected COVID-19 case
Rumours create unnecessary fear and panic. We all need to work together to ensure Yemenis obtain the correct information and guidance needed to effectively respond to COVID-19.
On 10 April, a foreign employee, working for an international humanitarian organization, was flown out of the country from Aden International Airport. The patient’s health had recently deteriorated due to a pre-existing health condition which required specialized treatment outside the country. In line with the precautionary measures put in place by the authorities in Aden, prior to the medical evacuation, a COVID-19 test was conducted and the result was negative. This was therefore not a suspected case of COVID-19 as reported in some sections of the media in Yemen. Rumours create unnecessary fear and panic. We all need to work together to ensure Yemenis obtain the correct information and guidance needed to effectively respond to COVID-19.
There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in Yemen. All suspected cases have tested negative (29 March 2020)
"Today 29 March 2020, the World Health Organization Representative in Yemen, Altaf Musani, during a regularly scheduled Facebook Live Session, updated viewers on the status of Cholera and COVID-19 in Yemen.
There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in Yemen. All suspected cases that have been tested have turned out negative.
Yemen's national disease early warning and surveillance system, staffed by 999 Health Rapid Response Teams across the country, work on a daily to detect, assess, alert and respond to all alerts related to COVID-19. Local hotlines have also been established to report suspected cases, and communities across the country have been engaged and made aware of the disease and how to protect themselves.
In a country with as fragile a health system as Yemen's, community engagement and awareness to break disease transmission is a must if COVID-19 is introduced into the country.
As cholera season is fast approaching, Mr Musani gave an update on cholera cases and deaths since the start of the world's largest cholera outbreak. Cholera is endemic in Yemen, and as the rainy season approaches, Musani reminded all Yemenis to remain vigilant and to not forget how to protect themselves as well against this disease. "
Conditions at the Afar checkpoint in Al Baydha Governorate 23 March 2020
Humanitarian organizations in Yemen are aware of the situation of more than 5,000 arrivals, who include migrants, quarantined at the Afar checkpoint, in Al Baydha Governorate as part of the authorities’ precautionary measures to prevent the arrival of COVID-19 in the country.
We want to reiterate and assure everyone that as of 23 March 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yemen. Aid organizations, working with the authorities, remain vigilant and are taking all urgent and essential measures and scaling up preparedness and response efforts.
With regard to the situation of civilians quarantined at the Afar checkpoint who include children, patients and some elderly people, preliminary reports from Rada’a District in Al Baydha Governorate, suggest that they are living in overcrowded and poor conditions with limited access to basic services, leaving them exposed to health and protection risks.
Humanitarian partners, working in close coordination with the authorities, are responding to the needs of people quarantined at the crossing point in Al Baydha Governorate. They have already been delivering life-saving assistance on the ground in Al Baydha since 21 March and are engaging with the authorities to find an immediate solution to the situation.
COVID-19: Yemen stepping up preparedness (15 March 2020)
Yemen currently has no cases of COVID-19, but preparedness must be stepped up. As we monitor what is happening globally, it is important that we scale up preparedness and response efforts. The situation globally is worrisome, as flights, school days, major events have been cancelled or postponed in some countries and normal routine life is interrupted. This has generated anxiety, uncertainty and fear, but we must remain calm.
There is no vaccine for COVID-19. The best way to avoid contracting the disease is to practice protective behaviours like social distancing from people who look sick and by practicing frequent hand hygiene. There is no evidence that people can contract the illness from asymptomatic persons or persons not exhibiting visible symptoms of COVID-19. Rumours have been one of the biggest challenges we need to fight against here in Yemen. We all need the support of the communities in Yemen to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We cannot overwhelm the already fragile health system in Yemen. The health system is functions at 50% of its capacity, and if the public does not understand what COVID-19 is and how to protect themselves, an introduction of the disease in Yemen will overrun hospitals and health facilities and pull health care workers away from people who are severely ill and need treatment.
Currently the risk of coronavirus in Yemen is low. There are no identified cases at the moment. However, like other countries, the scale-up for preparedness and prevention is ongoing so if a case were confirmed, systems to control and contain would be in place to respond.
Zero Tolerance for Fraud and Corruption
In accordance with the United Nations’ zero tolerance policy for fraud and corruption, UN agencies in Yemen are committed to prevent any form of fraud and corruption in the course of their activities or operations by or in relation to UN staff and non-staff personnel, cooperating partners, suppliers or other third parties. To achieve this, UN agencies in Yemen conducts regular audits and evaluation of their operations and below is a list of recent audit and evaluation reports.
- Internal Audit of the UNICEF Yemen Country Office, October 2019
- Internal Audit of WFP Operations in Yemen
- IOM Country Office Sana’a Audit Report 2019. The report provides an explanation of the actions taken since the 2017 audit and the current state of the IOM Yemen office as of October 2019
- Audit of the operations in Yemen for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
WFP welcomes recent progress made in coordination with SCMCHA towards beginning a biometric registration exercise followed by the roll-out of cash assistance in three districts of Amanat al Asimah. A final agreement has not been reached on some conditions being imposed by SCMCHA. The pilot phase can only be launched once these outstanding issues are resolved. WFP will begin cash transfers to eligible families only when the agency has biometric verification in place to ensure assistance is reaching the intended beneficiaries. https://twitter.com/WFPYemen/status/1231524092345569280
The milling of WFP wheat at the Red Sea Mills near the city of Hodeidah resumed on 30 December. Operations were stopped for four days. WFP is working round the clock to mill and dispatch 51,000 mt of wheat grain stored at the complex. So far, over 4,500 mt of vitally needed humanitarian assistance has been dispatched from the facility for distribution to the families in Yemen who need it most.
WFP stores more than 2,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian assistance at the free zone warehouses in Aden, Yemen. There is a constant flow of food assistance arriving at the warehouses and being dispatched to the families that WFP supports in Yemen. There is currently a small quantity of wheat flour that was damaged by heavy rains and is awaiting disposal at the free zone warehouses. It will be replaced to ensure that all vulnerable families in Yemen receive the monthly food assistance they need. All food distributed to beneficiaries meets all food quality standards in accordance with WFP’s mandate to support food insecure families in over 80 countries around the world. LINK:
WFP supports over 220,000 people in Shabwa Governorate with in-kind food assistance, distributing nearly 3,500 metric tonnes of food to vulnerable families living in the governorate each month. The wheat flour distributed this month in Shabwa is a brown flour, which has a darker colour. In addition, WFP also provided a one-off distribution in Shabwa of a fortified blended food intended to prevent malnutrition among children and women. All distributed food meets international and local food quality standards and regulations.
Over 4 years of conflict in Yemen have resulted in the displacement of over 2 million people, destroyed infrastructure and taken systems to the brink of collapse. Yemen, like the majority of countries in conflict, has sustained massive damage to its infrastructure. The successive onslaught of heavy rains, resulting in flash floods and inadequate drainage have turned harmless puddles into active mosquito breeding sites. These larvae are given space and time to turn into adult mosquitos who then infect people. “Containing these diseases has been a challenge given the operational environment and scale of this conflict, but WHO remains committed to the people of Yemen. These vector control measures along with sustained community involvement can improve vector control efforts substantially. We will continue working with local health authorities to fight all diseases that serve as a threat to public health in Yemen,” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Yemen.
A vessel carrying 6.43 million litres of fuel prevented from berthing at Hodeidah port (11 November)
A vessel carrying 6.43 million litres of fuel for hospitals and water treatment plants has been prevented from berthing at Hodeidah port. This fuel is part of WFP’s Bilateral Service Provision support for the humanitarian community, ensuring that the health sector has power and communities have access to clean water. So far in 2019, WFP’s BSP team has imported 22.74 million litres of fuel, supporting 181 hospitals and 48 local water and sanitation facilities across Yemen.
WFP is investigating an issue with the packaging of the date bars distributed as part of our School Feeding programme. All date bars with damaged packaging are being separated from the unaffected stock. WFP is currently providing 665,000 children in more than 1,500 schools with date bars, giving students with the nutritious boost they need to grow and learn. From January 2020, we will expand the school feeding programme to reach 1.2 million children across Yemen.
With rigorous resource mobilization efforts, UNFPA has been able to open up reproductive health and protection services that were suspended due to the lack of funding, since August 2019, and continue operations of existing services till the end of the year. To keep reaching the most vulnerable women and girls, UNFPA appealed for US$110.5 million for its response in 2019. To date, only 70 per cent of funding has been received. Read more: https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/unfpa-response-yemen-monthly-situatio....
The food stored at an Al Saeed Trading Co warehouse in Aden is commercial food belonging to the trader. This food is not part of the 130,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian assistance that WFP distributes each month to over 12 million people. Every month, WFP provides vulnerable families with flour, pulses, oil, sugar and salt.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has reached families trapped in Yemen’s Durayhimi City with much-needed humanitarian assistance. This is only the second time in over a year that WFP has been able to reach the town which lies about 20 kms south of the port city of Hodeidah.
Some 114 UN agencies, international & national organizations delivered humanitarian assistance in September to those most in need in all 333 districts in Yemen. For more details on the operational presence of humanitarian organizations: Who is doing What and Where?: https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-organisations-monthly-presence-...
In September, WFP assisted 12.22 million people, achieving 95 percent of the monthly target. The amount of people assisted via cash assistance is the highest yet with over 450,000 people reached in three governorates in the South. In October, WFP reached the hard-to-reach area of Durayhimi City in Hudaydah, providing assistance to some 200 civilians. WFP provided immediate response rations and general food assistance alongside dignity and hygiene kits, water and medical supplies and nutritious products for the population. This is the second time WFP has reached this population in 2019. WFP’s Bilateral Service Provision (BSP) has delivered fuel to 181 health facilities on behalf of WHO and 48 water treatment facilities on behalf of UNICEF as part of the cholera response. BSP is also delivering Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) kits consisting of a 4-month supply of ORS, aqua-tabs and jerry cans to beneficiaries through WFP’s General Food Distribution (GFD). For information: https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/wfp-yemen-situation-report-10-october...
21 July 2019 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 19,459 suspected cases of cholera with 11 associated deaths during epidemiological week 29 (15 to 21 July) of 2019. Ten percent of cases were severe. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 21 July 2019 is 885,982, with 1259 associated deaths (CFR 0.14%). Children under five represent 24.2 % of total suspected cases during 2019. The outbreak has affected 22 of 23 governorates and 301 of 333 districts in Yemen. For more information: