Marib IDP camps are on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe due to bitter cold
The governorate of Marib (east) represents the most welcoming governorate in Yemen for the displaced since 2015, since their number has reached more than two million, some of them live in camps distributed in the districts of the governorate, of which only 197 camps are located in four districts which 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 given the lack of adequate health services in most camps (…) a situation which worsens during the winter season with the severe cold, the camps lacking the most basic needs in a desert environment with a harsh climate (…) the reality of these camps is worsening until it currently warns of a disaster Imminent humanitarian crisis, warns a recent report published by the executive unit for the moved there.
Yemen ranks fifth in the list of countries with the highest number of internally displaced people in the world. The eight-year war there has caused the internal displacement of 4.3 million people, many of whom suffer from homelessness and hunger and lack basic necessities, compounding their suffering given the neglect 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 of the camps in the four districts (Ma’rib City, Ma’rib al-Wadi, Raghwan, Hareeb) are located in sandy and agricultural land along the valleys ‘ watercourses, which makes them more vulnerable in summer to torrential rains and floods, especially since 88% of the camps are not equipped with suitable systems to drain rains and torrential waters. recent torrential rains and flooding last July, in addition to suffering from extreme heat during the summer.
As for the winter season, and due to the extreme cold resulting from the desert climate, given the lack of suitable clothing, blankets and tents for most of the displaced in order to protect them from the extreme cold (…) the situation has reached 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 an acute shortage of shelter, shelter materials, food and medicine, and winter supplies, especially as the climate of the governorate of Marib is harsh with a very dry and cold desert nature during the winter. seasonal, 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 is increasing every year, and in turn the humanitarian aid provided is decreasing, and according to the report, most humanitarian organizations are not responding to relief appeals for the camps for the displaced. after the disaster, which warns of serious indicators that could lead to more cold-related deaths among the displaced, who lack the most basic needs, including the means of heating, shelter materials and clothing. winter; This is a reality that is getting worse day by day with the continued deterioration of economic conditions in the country.
In terms of health, health facilities suffer from a lack of natural settings, limited support 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 stopped in many camps in light of allegations of underfunding. This has led to the near total absence and breakdown 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 the camp residents in the four districts are among the most vulnerable people in the demographics, compounding 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 prevents a disaster that will affect all the camps in the governorate.
The results of the survey showed that the number of male child heads of families amounted to 1317, 212 female heads of families, 2795 unaccompanied male children, 530 unaccompanied elderly, 2403 widows, 966 divorced women, 6160 female breadwinners, 1,715 chronic illnesses and 1,715 cases, 458 serious illnesses, 472 cases of mental disability and 1,869 cases of physical disability According to the survey, the presence of this low number of cases in the camp demographics aggravates the problem in the camps, especially since the survey revealed in terms of health services that 139 camps receive health services through mobile clinics and close to health structures, while the number of camps in which families received no services is 58 camps; 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 Ma’rib. Transitional shelter and shelter materials came first in all camps, followed by the need to replace tents and provide blankets. to the same degree (…), which confirms the importance of the need to provide urgent winter assistance. The results showed that 132 camps, or 64% of the camps, do not have protection services, and it was found that these camps 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.