Mid-Year Review of the Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2012
The signing of the political agreement in November 2011 signalled the beginning of a new period in Yemen’s history, but it has not led to improvements in the humanitarian situation. Already the poorest country in the Arab world, Yemen has seen a dramatic rise in humanitarian needs, particularly among rural communities and those displaced by conflict.
The number of malnourished children under five has increased by 83% to reach 967,000 children, and the number of severely food-insecure Yemenis has more than doubled over the past two years. Ten million Yemenis, or 44.5% of the population, are now food-insecure, of whom five million are severely affected and need immediate assistance. These are among the highest levels in the world today.
The continued decline in Government service delivery has increased humanitarian needs for all social services. An estimated 300,000 children are unable to go to school due to conflict. Access to clean water has decreased significantly over the first half of 2012: only half of the Yemeni population now has access to clean water. Further reductions in access to water and primary healthcare have caused new outbreaks of fatal diseases including measles, dengue fever and acute watery diarrhoea, and a risk of re-emergence of polio.
The protection environment has deteriorated due to continuing political uncertainties, armed conflict, and limited Government capacities and state services. The protection needs of civilians in areas of armed conflict have increased, and there is a shortage of protective environments for children, especially in providing affected children with needed documentation and ensuring that the physical security for those displaced is safeguarded.
In response, humanitarian partnershave adapted their strategies and ramped up capacity. International non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies have considerably increased numbers of both locally and internationally recruited staff. Nine new international humanitarian organizations have arrived and started work in Yemen, and partnerships with local organizations have increased fourfold since November 2011, as evidenced by the number of agencies participating in this mid-year review. Capacity-building of local partners continues to increase in clusters and a comprehensive inter-agency capacity-building programme has been initiated.
International organizations are providing assistance in the most-affected areas of the country, either directly or through local partners. The Humanitarian Country Team is presently delivering an assessment strategy, following pilot tests in 2011, and rapid multi-cluster assessments are being rolled out in Sa’ada and Abyan where needs have increased, as well as in areas of new need. This is despite the fact that security for humanitarian agencies has deteriorated and the costs of delivering assistance have increased. For example, the increase in access to vulnerable people in Abyan after the Government regained control of key cities presents new opportunities to provide assistance, but also carries new threats from unexploded ordnance, mines and the new and more unpredictable security environment. Humanitarian access is periodically limited in the north, centre and south of Yemen; however, joint humanitarian negotiations continue to maintain humanitarian space.
Comprehensive contingency plans have been developed, both at the national level and for conflict areas in the north and south. These have led to material changes in preparedness including stockpiling, human resource allocation and new programming. Clusters are engaged in joint assessments and, based on recent evidence, a collective geographic prioritization of response actions to target the districts and governorates in areas of highest need. This includes a renewed effort to increase joint programming, particularly in the centre-west region for integrated food security interventions and in coastal regions for nutrition programming. Assistance to internally displaced people and host communities has been adjusted to cope with new displacement in the north and south.
Early recovery and capacity-building are key components of the mid-year review. As stability remains in some parts of the country, including Sa’ada, it allows for an increase in early recovery programming, including mine awareness, emergency livelihoods, and repair of community infrastructure for service delivery. Early recovery programmes have been further increased to provide a platform for durable and effective transition activities currently being rolled out as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreement. The humanitarian strategy has been further adjusted to link to other assistance frameworks, particularly the humanitarian pillar of the Government’s own transition plan and the United Nations transitional framework for Yemen 2012-2014.
The revised Humanitarian Response Plan has financial requirements of US$586,168,349 for 11 clusters (a 31% increase overall), targeting six million beneficiaries, which is still only a portion of the total population affected. Clusters with significant increases in requirements include Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (95%), Early Recovery (87%), Education (105%), Nutrition (22%), Protection (11%), and Health (18%). Requirements for Food and Agriculture, which increased by 30% for this MYR, are expected to increase by a further 15% at the end of the third quarter of 2012, including new programming in Abyan.
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