• The humanitarian situation in Ma’rib remained worrying and, with various waves of violence during the reporting period, the situation showed no signs of improving. People’s lives continued to be affected every day by the fighting, and thousands of people were displaced from their homes and sites of displacement. The conflict continued as well as in Al Hodeidah, Taizz and Al Jawf.
• In March, 30,317 IDPs were displaced, with the majority of waves of displacement coming from Ma’rib, Al Hodeidah, Taizz and Al-Jawf, while internal displacement in governorates to safer districts increased.
• The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) reached an additional 3,500 newly displaced families, of which 2,200 families were in Ma’rib (24,500 people). Beneficiaries received RRM kits comprising food, basic family hygiene kits and female dignity kits.
• As of April 5, 2021, there were 4,798 officially confirmed COVID-19 cases in Yemen, with 946 associated deaths and 1,738 cured cases (a confirmed death rate of 19.7%). 382 suspected cases were health workers, or 4.78% of the total cases.
Situation overview and humanitarian needs
March 21 marked the sixth anniversary of the conflict. The country remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 20.7 million people – 71% of the total population – in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict has left three million people, including 1.58 million children, internally displaced. An additional 138,000 people have become migrants and 137,000 people seek asylum abroad.
As UNICEF vigorously pursues its nutrition interventions, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) continues to plague children under five, with more than 395,195 children suffering from SAM in Yemen and 2.25 million children suffering from SAM. acute malnutrition according to the integrated classification of the food security phase (IPC). Nutritional needs continued to increase throughout March, and the lack of funding for emergency WASH interventions continues to threaten to undermine the integrated response. More than 15.4 million people were in urgent need of assistance accessing WASH services. This deficit has also increased the risk of COVID-19 as well as water-borne illnesses, including cholera and malnutrition. About 20.1 million people still need health assistance. Women and children continue to be disproportionately affected, with 4.8 million women and 10.2 million children in need of assistance to access health services during the reporting period.
As of April 5, 2021, there were 4,798 officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yemen, with 946 associated deaths and 1,738 cured cases, resulting in a confirmed death rate (CFR) of 19.7%. 382 suspected cases were health workers, or 4.78% of the total cases.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global shortages of COVID-19 supplies (for example, personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators) and supply chain disruptions, putting additional strain on the system poor health and the already poor health infrastructure in Yemen. The effect of the pandemic on children’s access to education continued to suffer in March. More than 2.2 million children in Yemen remain out of school since the conflict began in 2015. While schools are now open, an additional 1.4 million children whose education has been interrupted due to School closures in 2020 due to COVID -19 continue to require additional assistance. The increased vulnerability of children and women to exploitation, violence, abuse, child labor, domestic and gender-based violence and child marriage remains a major problem in Yemen and continues to affect progress in terms of outcomes for children.
Immunization coverage progressed with the first phase of the second round of integrated outreach service delivery points in Saada governorate, reaching a total of 95,369 children. This brought the total number of children nationwide who received life-saving vaccines3 to 284,326 throughout the reporting period. UNICEF continues to coordinate closely with the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) to ensure the implementation of at least the second integrated awareness cycle (IOR) by June 2021 and 2-3 cycles of IOR in the second half of 2021. In the meantime, discussions are underway with MoPHP to implement measles and diphtheria outbreak response activities, depending on the availability of funds.
During the month of March, the United Nations National Monitoring and Reporting Task Force (UNCTFMR) documented 24 incidents of grave violations against children, of which 92 percent of incidents were verified. The majority of violations verified this month were identified as child victims, including 12 children killed (25% girls) and incidents of mutilation of 37 children (24% girls) by various parties to the conflict. There have been no confirmed cases of child recruitment or use, or rape this month. Attacks on a school and a hospital were verified, as well as a kidnapping case (a boy). Most of the documented and verified incidents took place in the governorates of Taizz (nine) and Al Hodeidah (four), reflecting the continued intense fighting along the front lines in these areas. These are just numbers that the UN has been able to verify to date; the actual number of incidents may be higher.