In 2008, DRC began working in Yemen in order to respond to the mixed migration flows from the Horn of Africa. Gradually, DRC’s operations expanded to include protection assistance, food security, livelihoods, and water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) assistance to children, vulnerable households, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and host communities.
Since the onset of the conflict in March 2015, DRC’s operations also include emergency humanitarian assistance. Its emergency interventions target approximately 243,000 persons across various sectors including Food Security and Livelihoods, (WASH), provision of core relief items, and protection assistance. Despite the conflict, DRC is operational in 10 governorates throughout the country. DRC’s approach to assistance is community driven and activities are conducted in consultation with local community networks.
The ongoing conflict has amplified the suffering of Yemen’s population, who prior to the war were already affected by food insecurity, a high rate of malnutrition, gender inequality, and a lack of access to clean water and sanitation. Out of the 26.4 million people in Yemen, 21.2 million are estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. With no end in sight to the conflict, these numbers are anticipated to increase. One of DRC’s main priorities is therefore to build resilience and strengthen the coping mechanisms of vulnerable households, children, and IDPs.
Protection assistance remains one of the core services that DRC provides in Yemen – especially at this crucial time in the ongoing conflict. DRC’s teams provide assistance in the areas of child protection and mixed migration programming through provision of non-food items and cash assistance for shelter, food or work. Child protection teams work with community-based organisations and local networks to identify and refer children who require advanced medical assistance following conflict-related injuries to hospitals. Through its community-based Child Protection Committees, DRC conducts monitoring and referral activities for children in need.
DRC collaborates closely with its demining unit - the Danish Demining Group (DDG) to contribute to the stabilisation of fragile areas in Yemen by enhancing community safety and improving the quality of life among conflict-affected populations. In this regard, DDG provides child-focused Mine Risk Education (MRE) for children and adults in communities affected by the presence of landmines/unexploded ordnances (UXOs) and explosive remnants of wars (ERWs).
DRC aims to build people’s resilience through provision of emergency food distribution in Sa’ada, Lahj, and Abyan governorates as well as the supply of urgently needed agricultural inputs for small-land farmers for food production – providing families with opportunities for improved self-sustainability despite the conflict. DRC’s WASH activities are primarily focused in Hajjah and Hodeidah governorates, and include provision of hygiene kits and water filters to vulnerable households, provision of awareness raising sessions on personal hygiene and sanitation in community centres and schools, and well and latrine rehabilitation.
Despite the war in Yemen, persons seeking refuge continue to land on its coasts. Consequently, DRC continues to implement its mixed migration programme targeting migrants arriving from the Horn of Africa. Where the security situation allows, DRC’s protection teams patrol the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coastlines to meet and register new arrivals, most of whom are from Ethiopia or Somalia. The teams facilitate the registration of those migrants who wish to seek asylum and process data regarding the gender, age and specific vulnerabilities of the new arrivals. Persons of concern are referred to partners such as UNHCR and the IOM for specific psychosocial or legal assistance.
DRC continues to work with migrant-hosting communities and local authorities to improve the reception conditions for migrants arriving in Yemen. DRC holds the Secretariat of the Yemen Mixed Migration Task Force (MMTF), which serves as a coordination body for agencies and government entities working with the mixed migration flows.
DRC is an active participant of the Protection, WASH, Food Security and Agriculture, and Shelter and NFI clusters as well as relevant sub-clusters and working groups. In addition, it is on the steering committee of the Yemen INGO Forum and sits on the Humanitarian Country Team.
DRC works with UN agencies, INGOs, national civil society organizations, government authorities, and local community networks in order to provide efficient and coordinated assistance throughout Yemen.
DRC’s interventions in Yemen are implemented through ten offices based in Abyan, Aden, Amran, Bab El Mandab, Basateen, Hodeidah, Kharaz, Mayfa’a, Sa’ada and Sana’a.
DRC’s work in Yemen is kindly supported by OCHA, UNHCR, UNICEF, ECHO, DANIDA, WFP, IOM as well as DRC own funds.