Crisis Overview

The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate almost one and a half years after the escalation of conflict in March 2015.The escalation amplified an already existing protracted crisis, which was characterised by widespread poverty, conflict, poor governance and weak rule of law, including widely reported human rights violations.

At the begging of 2016, an estimated 14.4 million Yemenis were unable to meet their food needs (of whom 7.6 million were severely food insecure), 19.4 million lacked clean water and sanitation (of whom 9.8 million lost access to water due to conflict), 14.1 million did not have adequate healthcare, and at least two million had fled their homes within Yemen or to neighbouring countries. Many of the displaced continue to live with host families, placing additional strain on scarce resources, or renting shelter, which becomes challenging as rental prices increase, displacement becomes protracted, and savings depleted.

The conduct of the conflict has been brutal on civilians with all parties failing to take adequate steps to protect civilians or fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law. Air strikes hit marketplaces and residential areas and indiscriminate shelling was reported in several densely populated areas. By June2016, health facilities reported nearly 6,500 people killed and more than 31,400 injured since mid-March 2015 – an average of 113 casualties per day. Over the same period, more than 848 children were forcibly recruited as child soldiers. More than 600 health facilities and 1,600 schools remained closed due to conflict-related damages.

The ongoing conflict has significantly affected Yemen’s economy. According to the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the GDP contracted nearly 35 per cent in 2015. The Government was only able to pay some salaries, with no resources available for supplies or maintenance of infrastructure. This has severely jeopardised the ability of public institutions to deliver basic services. Restrictions on imports of key commodities such as food, medicines, and fuel have worsenedhumanitarian needs as Yemen is dependent on imports, including for more than 90 per cent of staple foods, 90 per cent of medicines and pharmaceutical products, and nearly all its fuel. Fuel imports are essential to power water pumps, run generators in hospitals and water stations, and for other critical civilian infrastructure.

Humanitarian partners are targeting some 13.6 million people for life-saving humanitarian assistance across Yemen in 2016, with the most critical needs being health, food and nutrition, and protection of civilians. Despite access and security challenges, nearly 100 international humanitarian partners are present and, alongside national partners, attending to needs in all 22 governorates. From January to April 2016, 3.5 million people were reached with health assistance, 250,000 people with nutrition support; over 270,000 with shelter and non-food items; more than 360,000 with education support, over 100,000 migrants and refugees were assisted, and an average of 4.5 million people received regular emergency food assistance per month.

In 2016, humanitarian partners have appealed for US$1.8 billion, but by end of June, only 25 per cent of funding had been received.