Yemen: Limited Resumption of Aid Distribution in Houthi-Controlled Areas

Children wait for lunch at their hut in Sanaa, Yemen August 29, 2022 (Reuters)
Children wait for lunch at their hut in Sanaa, Yemen August 29, 2022 (Reuters)
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Yemen: Limited Resumption of Aid Distribution in Houthi-Controlled Areas

Children wait for lunch at their hut in Sanaa, Yemen August 29, 2022 (Reuters)
Children wait for lunch at their hut in Sanaa, Yemen August 29, 2022 (Reuters)

The World Food Program (WFP) announced on Tuesday the limited resumption of aid distribution in Houthi-controlled areas, after a six-month pause of assistance due to a dispute with the group over beneficiary lists.

The United Nations agency revealed that this resumption has led to a decrease in poor food consumption among families who received food rations by more than half.

WFP said it conducted a one-off food distribution in eight districts in Hajjah and Hodeidah during May to assess the impact of this one-off distribution. It interviewed a panel sample of 219 households during the pause, and after receiving the food assistance.

In these eight districts, the share of assisted households suffering from severe food deprivation (poor food consumption) dropped from 41% in February, to 22% in May 2024 immediately after the one-off food distribution.

Conversely, the UN agency said that poor food consumption soared in the rest of the non-assisted districts of Hajjah and Hodeidah, as 49% of the households reported severe food deprivation during the same period.

Additionally, the prevalence of severe levels of hunger in the assisted districts decreased from 12% in February to 4% in May.

The reliance on severe food-based coping strategies also decreased from 62% to 58% respectively.

In December 2023, WFP announced a pause in General Food Assistance (GFA), affecting approximately 9.5 million beneficiaries in northern Yemen, primarily due to funding challenges and following unsuccessful negotiations with Houthis on depriving more than one million beneficiaries and directing aid to people who need it most.

Severe Food Deprivation

A subsequent longitudinal study published by WFP in March 2024, revealed that the GFA pause resulted in increased levels of severe food deprivation among beneficiary households.

The impact was uneven across governorates in the north, some governorates demonstrated very high sensitivity to the assistance pause, including Hajjah and Hodeidah governorates.
The eight districts were selected based on vulnerability analysis and other operational factors. Due to limited food stocks and resource constraints, the UN agency said the GFA food basket included only 50 KG of wheat flour and 5 kg of pulses per assisted household, providing 984 calories per person per day for 30 feeding days.

It then showed that post-distribution monitoring (PDM) was conducted remotely two weeks after the distribution, using a panel sample of 219 households selected from the eight districts.

The PDM results indicate a significant reduction in the prevalence of food insecurity amongst beneficiary households in the eight districts, immediately after receiving assistance in May.

WFP said the proportion of households unable to access adequate food decreased from 76% in February to 58% in May.

Also, consumption of essential nutrients improved amongst the surveyed households in May.

The percentage of households consuming protein in the previous seven days increased from 68% in February to 88% in May, and those consuming pulses also increased from 38% to 76% for the same period.

Overall, WFP said the proportion of households employing severe food-based coping strategies decreased from 62% in February to 58% in May 2024 in the eight governorates.

Additionally, the reliance on severe livelihood-based coping strategies (crisis or emergency levels), also decreased from 82% in February to 77% in May.

Finally, the share of households experiencing severe hunger, as measured by household hunger scale, decreased from 12% in February to 4% in May, after receiving the food rations, according to the Program.



Syrian Observatory: Türkiye Forcibly Deporting Thousands of Syrians

Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
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Syrian Observatory: Türkiye Forcibly Deporting Thousands of Syrians

Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)

Türkiye has forcibly deported early in July, 3,540 Syrians with temporary protection identity cards to northern Syria, in addition to 840 refugees in the past 7 days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday
“Turkish authorities forcibly detained more than 125 Syrian families, including children and women, in deportation centers in the province of Kayseri, as Ankara is preparing to send them back to Syria,” SOHR said.
It added that on Friday, 120 Syrians were already deported through the Turkish border crossings towards northern Syria.
According to the Observatory, “Türkiye is forcibly deporting more than 100 Syrians every day, most of them holding temporary protection ID card (Kimlik), with the aim of settling them in areas under its control in the Euphrates Shield, the Olive Branch and the Peace Spring.
SOHR condemned the “humiliating way and inhumane treatment” by Turkish authorities towards Syrian refugees forcibly being deported back to their country.
It also called on the international community to “assume its responsibilities towards protecting Syrian refugees in Türkiye and prevent their deportation under the pretext of sending them to a safe zone.”
The Turkish government said on Friday it was deporting at least seven Syrians for “provocatively” sharing their images while eating bananas on social media after a Turkish citizen complained that he cannot afford bananas while the refugees can, according to Bloomberg.
Three weeks ago, tensions rose between Turks and Syrian refugees after the arrest of a Syrian man who had been accused of harassing a child.
Turkish police then arrested 474 of people during anti-Syrian riots in several cities, damaging businesses and properties belonging to the Syrians.