Marib IDP camps are on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe due to bitter cold

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IDP camps experience poor sanitary conditions, which negatively affect the lives and health of most people. Illnesses are prevalent among the displaced, as mobile clinic services are limited.

Sanaa – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”: Ma’rib/eastern governorate has been the most welcoming governorate in Yemen for the displaced since 2015, as their number has reached more than two million, some of whom live in camps spread across the districts of the governorate, of which only 197 camps are located in four districts that contain more than 55,000 families; And those who live in very difficult living conditions, because they lack the most basic needs, such as drinking water and toilets, and sometimes a toilet is for four families, and often there is not enough water and food; This causes the spread of diseases and epidemics in light of the lack of adequate health services in most camps, a situation which is aggravated during the winter season with the severe cold, the camps lacking the most basic needs in a harsh desert environment. The reality of these camps is worsening, to the point that it now warns of an impending humanitarian catastrophe, as a recent report by the Executive Unit for the Displaced warned.

Yemen ranks fifth in the list of countries with the highest number of internally displaced people in the world. The war that has been raging there for eight years has caused the internal displacement of 4.3 million people who suffer greatly from homelessness and hunger and lack the necessary needs, which aggravates their suffering given the negligence of organizations humanitarian organizations to meet their adequate needs.
The tragedy begins at the campsite; In terms of location, and according to the results of the survey report, 95 camps in the four districts (Ma’rib town, Ma’rib al-Wadi, Raghwan, Hareeb) are located in sandy and agricultural land along the valleys, which makes them more vulnerable to torrents and floods in summer, especially since 88% of the camps do not have adequate systems to drain rain and torrential waters. As a result, these camps were exposed to damage and danger during the recent torrential rains and floods last July, in addition to suffering from extreme heat in the summer.
With regard to the winter season, and due to the severe cold resulting from the desert climate, given the lack of suitable clothing, blankets and tents for most of the displaced to protect them from the severe cold, the situation reaches deaths due to causes including severe cold. Freezing waves and intense cold have caused more suffering in the camps, as they are made up of worn tents and dilapidated shelters that do not protect or protect against the cold. They also do not protect the bodies from freezing; They are weak bodies that cannot bear suffering, especially with a severe shortage of shelter, shelter materials, food and medicine, and winter supplies, especially as the climate of the Ma’rib governorate is harsh with a very dry and cold desert nature. during the winter, when temperatures drop to 2 below zero; This makes the displaced vulnerable to the effects of the cold, especially when they lack the most basic needs. The report from the Executive Unit for Displaced Persons in Marib warned of a disaster that has culminated among camp residents, especially with some residents losing their lives due to the cold, according to the report, which confirms that the intense cold caused, from December to the beginning of January, the death of six people displaced inside the camps, who froze their bodies The cold, including three deaths of newborns, given the degraded economic conditions that displaced families in the camps.
What aggravates the suffering is that the number of displaced people increases every year, and in turn the humanitarian aid provided decreases, and according to the report, most humanitarian organizations do not respond to relief appeals for the camps of people displaced only after the end of the disaster. has happened, which warns of serious indicators that could lead to more cold-related deaths among the displaced who lack the simplest things. This is a reality that is getting worse day by day with the continued deterioration of economic conditions in the country.
At the health level, health facilities suffer from a lack of natural frameworks and a scarcity of necessary drugs, given the pressure on the few health centers, unable to accommodate the large number of patients.
IDP camps experience poor sanitary conditions, which inevitably have negative repercussions on the lives and health of most people. Respiratory and skin diseases are widespread among the displaced, with programs and services from mobile clinics that provide primary health care halted in many camps in light of allegations of underfunding. This has led to an almost total lack of medical, health and nutritional care for pregnant women and children. This is an indication that warns of an impending disaster, according to what is stated in the report, which was seen by Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
The report also revealed that 62% of camp residents in the four districts are among the most vulnerable in demographics, which exacerbates the humanitarian problem in meeting their basic needs, including winter needs. The report revealed that most of the displaced, most of whom are women, children and the elderly, lack the most basic winter necessities, which aggravates their suffering and warns of a disaster that will affect all camps in the governorate. .
The results of the survey showed that the number of male child heads of household was 1317, female head of household 212, unaccompanied male child 2795, unaccompanied elderly 530, number of female widows 2403, divorced women 966, female heads of families 6160, chronic illnesses 1715, serious illnesses 458, and cases of mental disabilities 472 And cases of physically disabled people are 1869. According to the survey, the presence of this number of weaknesses in the demographics of the camps exacerbates the humanitarian crisis problem in the camps, especially as the survey revealed in terms of health services that 139 camps receive health services through mobile clinics and are close to health facilities, while the number of camps that Families including 58 camps received no services; This exacerbates the human suffering of camp residents, especially during the winter season.
According to the urgent needs, the survey showed the priority of the needs of the displaced families in the camps of the governorate of Marib. Transitional shelter and shelter materials came first in all camps, followed by the need to replace tents and provide blankets to the same degree, confirming the importance of the need to provide urgent winter assistance. . The results showed that 132 camps, or 64% of the camps, have no protection services, and these camps were found to have concentrated cases of vulnerability.
According to the United Nations, more than 17.8 million people in Yemen, including 9.2 million children, need drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services.
The international organization confirms that the health system in Yemen is very fragile: only 50% of health facilities are functioning, leaving 21.9 million people without access to adequate health care.


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