Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Update on displacement in Yemen

Briefing notes

Update on displacement in Yemen

20 October 2009

Displaced families from embattled Sa'ada province in northern Yemen are continuing to arrive in Al Mazrak camp. Most of them are fleeing from Al-Daher, Haidan, Razeh, and Sheda'a districts. On average, 10 to 15 new families arrive at Al Mazrak camp every day. Almost half of Al Mazrak camp has been reorganised and extended with further blocks of tents erected with the help of internally displaced people (IDP). We estimate there are some 8,000 IDPs in Al Mazrak camp. Another 11,000 IDPs are sheltered by host families and communities in this part of Yemen.

Development of the second site has been suspended at the request of the government. Despite completion of the mapping and the site planning for the second camp, local authorities have now indicated that they want Al Mazrak II to be situated in a different location, closer to the first camp. We are worried that the delay in reaching a final decision on the second camp is having an impact on the improvement of the first camp which is becoming increasingly overcrowded with needs for health, water and sanitation increasing.

The security situation surrounding the IDP camp in Khaiwan in Amran governorate remains of serious concern to UNHCR. After a number of incidents, UNHCR has requested the government to reconsider further development of the site and not to move the new IDPs there.

Following the distribution of aid which UNHCR trucked from Saudi Arabia into far north-west of Sa'ada province, discussions on the second aid convoy are underway. The UN is also expecting to receive authorization from the government to conduct its own needs assessment there.

UNHCR's first aid convoy into northern Yemen complemented the assistance provided by the government and other organisations. Some 2,000 displaced Yemeni civilians scattered across two or three square kilometres in mountainous Mandaba area received tents, mattresses, blankets, plastic sheeting, jerry cans and hygiene items. Temperatures are low in this part of Yemen at this time of the year and most of the displaced are in need of shelter and blankets. People in Sa'ada province continue to live under extreme hardship as the conflict continues, supplies are running out and prices of commodities are increasing.

In response to calls for safe corridors for those fleeing the conflict, the government announced its intention to provide humanitarian corridors for people to reach the camps. Meanwhile, the UN continues to appeal to the parties in the conflict to allow access for aid and assistance to reach those in need in their places of displacement. An estimated 150,000 have been affected by fighting in Yemen since 2004.