Collective centres & spontaneous settlements: A last resort for displaced families in Yemen After more than 12 months since the escalation of hostilities, needs are higher than ever before

Life before displacement was already hard for the people of Yemen, with major underdevelopment, financial crisis, and poverty. The escalation of the conflict, over one year ago however has forced 2.75 million people to leave behind the one place where they found peace and calm: home.

The protracted conflict with airstrikes and clashes on the ground has displaced 2.75 million people, while food, fuel and medicine shortages impacts lives in devastating ways. Yemenis live in uncertain times and cannot live normal lives. They are incurring increasing debt, suffering from increased intra-family tensions and many live in cramped and difficult conditions. In some areas of Yemen, particularly where conflict has been ongoing and intensifying (such as Taizz, Al Jawf, or Marib), many families have faced multiple displacements, lost household items, assets, access to livelihoods and are having to seek alternative shelter solutions.

The most vulnerable IDPs are those people staying in collective centres and spontaneous settlements. They do not have the option of staying with host families/friends and often face extremely poor living conditions and lack of access to social services. Those staying in collective centres including schools are often exposed to a number of protection issues and are under a lot of pressure from the host community to move on.

Basic amenities, primary health care and other services and support are often lacking in collective centres. IDPs living in them often cite the challenges as feeling unsafe; lack of privacy; limited representation of their needs; limited freedom of movement and harassment from other IDPs or the host community.
Spontaneous settlements are often very basic forms of informal camps where families have been provided with emergency shelters or have constructed rudimentary self-built shelters which are not durable enough to withstand longer periods of displacement, multiple displacements, and climatic conditions.
IDPs have limited access to clean water and appropriate sanitation; the location can present safety concerns and can cause land disputes. Displaced families have reported that they often face harassment from the local communities with whom they share already scarce resources, including often limited water supply.

The Shelter / CCCM Cluster has identified a range of responses to meet the specific needs of IDPs according to their type of shelter:

  1. Robust emergency shelters are required for spontaneous settlements along with non-food items such as blankets, mattresses and kitchen sets to replace what has been left behind.
  2. Collective centres require upgrades to provide suitable shelter along with installation of WASH facilities.
  3. To rehabilitate and expand accommodation and services in 100 collective centres, it is estimated that the cluster would require 5.6m USD.
  4. To provide more durable shelter and NFI kits to 7,000 households in 40 spontaneous settlements, it is estimated that the cluster would require 3.1m USD.

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