Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2010

30 November 2009

Duration: January to December 2010
Key milestones
March – May and July – September: rainy season
Target beneficiaries: 1.4 million food-insecure; 200,000 IDPs; 162,362 refugees; 134,400 children suffering from malnutrition
Funding request per beneficiary*: $126
* Note: based on total food-insecure population
Total funding requested: $177,428,417

The 2010 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan is the first consolidated humanitarian appeal for the country, and is a continuation of the concerted humanitarian action planning launched in August 2009 with a Flash Appeal.  Its overall aim is to respond to a series of acute and chronic humanitarian needs which have been triggered, or in some cases exacerbated, by the armed conflict that escalated in August 2009 between the Government and Al Houthi rebels in the north of the country, and which expanded to include tribal and international actors.  The humanitarian situation rapidly deteriorated as tens of thousands of civilians were uprooted, adding to those already displaced by previous rounds of fighting.  In the early aftermath, it was estimated that up to 175,000 people were displaced, many of them for a second or third time.  The coping mechanisms of displaced people and host communities have been exhausted and food, water and sanitation, shelter, and health care needs are extensive.  Restricted humanitarian access has limited agencies’ ability to provide regular assistance and hampered needs assessments. 

The situation in Yemen is becoming increasingly complex as the country faces a series of compounded emergencies.  Yemen suffers from chronic underdevelopment, and is both a low-income, food-deficit country and one of the world’s least developed, suffering from weak infrastructure, widespread poverty and unemployment, rapid population growth, low education indicators and high gender disparities.  Families with limited coping mechanisms have seen them further stretched by a series of crises – including high food prices, economic downturn, conflict, and climate change – leaving them increasingly vulnerable.  An estimated 48% of households in Yemen are food-insecure, and half of all children are chronically malnourished.  It is likely that these already alarming levels of chronic food insecurity and malnutrition have only further deteriorated as a result of the complex situation.  Any delay in responding to the humanitarian challenges could put at risk some of the many gains, such as those made in poverty reduction, made by Yemen and the international community over recent years.

Structural factors have limited agricultural growth and the country is now a net food importer, importing 90% of wheat and 100% of rice – the two staple commodities.  Dependence on imports has rendered Yemen vulnerable to fluctuations in the international market, and by the peak of the high-food-price crisis in 2008 prices had more than doubled.  Although prices have declined since the peak, they have not returned to pre-crisis levels.  As the country began to recover from high food costs, it was struck by the global economic downturn and declining fuel prices, reducing remittances to the country, the Government’s revenue, and consequently its capacity to provide basic services. 

The 2008 drought and irregular and out-of-season rainfall in 2009 have meant that the country is unable to replenish its rapidly depleting water supply, which has already resulted in population migration and increasingly detrimental effects on the livelihoods of rain-fed sustenance farmers.  In October 2008, flash floods destroyed over 3,500 homes and affected the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in eastern Yemen, and led to a Flash Appeal.  While sufficient relief goods were delivered in the immediate aftermath of the emergency from neighbouring states and the United Nations, only 44.5% of the US$11million  Flash Appeal was funded, and recovery needs remained high and mostly unaddressed. 

Three key strategic priorities have been identified to guide humanitarian action in 2010:

  1. Provide life- and livelihood-saving humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations affected by man-made and natural disasters
  2. Address protracted humanitarian and recovery needs, including emergency levels of  malnutrition country-wide and post-emergency needs in Sa’ada and Hadramout governorates
  3. Strengthen the capacity of humanitarian actors and of key Government counterparts involved in service and assistance delivery

The requirements needed to attain the key priorities in 2010 will amount to $177,428,417.  Funding will allow agencies to provide life-saving and early recovery assistance to some 1.4 million food-insecure people, including an estimated 200,000 IDPs from the conflict in Sa’ada, and to 162,362 refugees  mostly from the Horn of Africa.  Planned operations address transitory needs due to shocks and the root causes of hunger and poverty, all the while contributing to the stability of the country.  Lack of funding could potentially result in increased displacement and suffering as well as continued underdevelopment.

Document History

30 November 2009

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