A report just released by the ICRC estimates that fifty million people currently bear the brunt of war in cities around the world. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/4312_002_Urban-Warfare_web_new_EN.pdf
Country policy and information notes (last updated).
The ongoing conflict in Yemen that escalated sharply in March 2015 has led to the near collapse of the country’s already fragile health care system. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that as of January 2017, only 45 percent of medical facilities are functioning and even these face severe shortages in medicines, equipment, and staff.
War is denying Yemenis food to eat. This special briefing, the first of four examining the famine threats there and in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, urges the Saudi-led coalition not to assault Yemen’s most important port, Hodeida, and both sides to immediately resolve deadlock over the Central Bank.
Thriving on conflict, sectarianism, and local opportunism, al-Qaeda’s affiliates are stronger than ever in Yemen. To shrink their growing base will require better governance in vulnerable areas, not treating all Sunni Islamists as one enemy, and above all ending Yemen’s civil war.
The report, “Bombing Businesses: Saudi Coalition Airstrikes on Yemen’s Civilian Economic Structures,” examines in detail 17 apparently unlawful airstrikes on 13 civilian economic sites, including factories, commercial warehouses, a farm, and two power facilities. These strikes killed 130 civilians and injured 171 more. Collectively, the facilities employed over 2,500 people; following the attacks, many of the factories ended their production and hundreds of workers lost their livelihoods. Further, with more than 20 million people in desperate need of humanitarian aid, the strikes on factories are contributing to the shortages of food, medicine, and other critical needs of Yemen’s civilians.
Amid the volatile political and security situation in Yemen, two out of three internally displaced persons (IDPs) have lived in dire conditions for ten months or more and their prospects of returning home remain remote. According to the 9th report of the Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM), a technical working group of the Yemen Protection Cluster jointly led by UNHCR and IOM, there are currently 2,818,072 people affected by displacement in Yemen due to the ongoing conflict. Of these, 2,053,093 remain displaced, while 764,979 have returned to their areas of origin, but have not yet fully re-integrated into their community.
Throughout 2015, the region remained volatile and challenging as ever, particularly as the crisis in Yemen produced new waves of Yemeni refugees, Somali returnees and third country nationals fleeing the violent conflict in Yemen to Djibouti, Somaliland/Somalia and beyond. Despite this, DRC/DDG continued to work systematically, both programmatically as well as from an advocacy perspective in order to address these crises and continue to champion solutions for displacement-affected populations in the region. The regional footprint of the HoAY grew considerably in the past year with the Djibouti programme becoming formally operational in March followed by the incorporation of Uganda as part of the cross border regional response on the South Sudan crisis.
The Huthi armed group, which since late 2014 has controlled large parts of Yemen, has – in conjunction with forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and state security and intelligence agencies – carried out hundreds of arbitrary arrests and detentions of its opponents, as well as enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees. The clampdown intensified dramatically after the start of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s military campaign in March 2015. Through the examination of 60 individual cases in Sana’a, Ibb, Ta’iz and Hodeidah between December 2014 and March 2016, this report reveals how the Huthi forces have swept up political opposition figures, activists and journalists from their homes, work places, meetings or protests, as part of a broad crackdown against those who have opposed their take-over of government institutions. Eighteen individuals whose cases are featured in this report are still being held. Some have been held for as long as 17 months, without being charged or brought before a court. Even official release orders from prosecuting authorities in the capital Sana’a have failed to secure detainees’ releases. Amnesty International is calling on Huthi armed group and state institutions across Yemen to stop carrying out arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances of political opponents, and to release those detained in such circumstances.