The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Nearly four years of conflict and severe economic decline are driving the country to the brink of famine and exacerbating needs in all sectors. An estimated 80 per cent of the population – 24 million people – require some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 14.3 million who are in acute need. Severity of needs is deepening, with the number of people in acute need a staggering 27 per cent higher than last year. Two-thirds of all districts in the country are already pre-famine, and one-third face a convergence of multiple acute vulnerabilities.
The OCHA Yemen Country Office was established in the capital, Sana’a, in 2010 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by widespread flooding in Yemen. In July 2015, following the escalation of the conflict and the rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground, Yemen was declared a System Wide IASC Level 3 Emergency (L3). Following the L3 designation the office was expanded to ensure that the right capacities and systems were put in place to effectively meet needs.
OCHA's overall goal in Yemen is to ensure the delivery of effective and principled humanitarian action that meets the needs of the most vulnerable people. To achieve this, OCHA supports the Humanitarian Coordinator and humanitarian partners in operational coordination, humanitarian financing, public information, humanitarian analysis, advocacy and information management. OCHA continued to play a pivotal role in supporting partners to catalogue, analyse and overcome operational challenges, and plays the key role in ensuring that deconfliction remains a cornerstone of access and accountability. To this end, OCHA works closely with the government and humanitarian partners at all levels to enhance the coherence and quality of humanitarian response.
OCHA’s presence has been continual, across the country, since the escalation of conflict in March 2015. OCHA staff is deployed in the four Operational Hubs of Al Hudaydah, Ibb, Sa’ada and Aden, in addition to the main office in Sana’a. Plans are currently underway to establish a new Operational Hub in Al Mukalla. A supporting Yemen office operates from Amman. The Amman hub leads the areas of information management; communications and reporting; analysis; humanitarian financing; and administration. A small team based in Riyadh also supports the Yemen operation. This office focuses mainly on de-confliction support to all humanitarian operations in Yemen for overland movement, flights and shipping of humanitarian goods, as well as ensuring an information and advocacy link between the Yemen Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and representatives of the Saudi-led Coalition and Government of Yemen officials based in Riyadh. A UN Verification Mechanism team further supports the Yemen operation from Djibouti.