By: Scott Logue
Background and Tech RRT Deployment
Ongoing conflict is devastating Yemen. Humanitarian partners now estimate that 21.2 million people (82% of population) require some kind of humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs or protect their fundamental rights. Malnutrition rates are rising in Yemen and partners now estimate that 4.5 million people require treatment or prevention services for malnutrition, which is a 200 per cent rise in people in need since late 2014. Children under the age of five (U5), including infants and pregnant and lactating women, are the most affected. Within this population, IDPs are most at risk. Of the 4.5 million people in need, nearly 2.2 million are currently estimated to be acutely malnourished, including 462,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 1.7 million children affected by moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). In addition, nearly 14 million people require primary health care services with very high U5 disease prevalence (diarrheal prevalence, 25-46%; ARI prevalence 30-55%, measles 2-9%).
In Yemen, a significant technical capacity gap has been identified by the Assessment Working Group (AWG) and agencies representing the nutrition cluster. Due to the absence of adequate technical knowledge of representative assessments, the functionality and accountability of the AWG has been challenged to ensure producing quality data, analysis and reporting on undernutrition and mortality in a timely fashion. In Yemen, there are currently very few agencies with the skills to conduct SMART nutrition surveys.
The Tech-RRT Assessment Adviser was deployed to Yemen in May, 2017. He was requested to contribute to strengthening the overall emergency nutrition response by building the capacity of response stakeholders in the design, implementation, analysis and reporting of nutrition assessments at the national and sub-national level.
Key Components of the deployment included:
- Created a database of Yemen nutrition assessments (2012-2017) based on the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) nutrition assessment template. This document will be used to monitor indicators pertaining to undernutrition (including quality based on ENA for SMART plausibility check), Infant Youth Child Feeding (IYCF), health and morbidity.
- Created a document based on a workshop that the assessment advisor facilitated with AWG partners to determine priority indicators (and accompanying questions) to include in all Governorate level nutrition assessments. This process is being continued by the AWG. The end result will be a combination of mandatory and option indicators to include in nutrition and mortality surveys.
- Facilitated a two day Yemen Nutrition and Mortality Guideline workshop and created the Yemen National Guidelines for Conducting Integrated Anthropometric and Mortality Surveys which is currently in the process of being validated. This guideline will be used by all organizations when planning and implementing nutrition and mortality surveys in Yemen.