Humanitarian Country Team urges Friends of Yemen to address humanitarian plight

(London, 28 April 2014) The Yemen Humanitarian Country Team urges the Friends of Yemen meeting in London tomorrow to address the plight of millions of Yemenis as a core part of their work. The scale of humanitarian needs in Yemen makes it one of the world’s largest emergencies.
Despite recent political progress, 14.7 million people in Yemen – over half the population – need some form of humanitarian assistance in 2014. A crisis of this magnitude must be addressed as part of any efforts to resolve Yemen’s longer-term political, economic and security challenges.

“Confidence in the political transition process hinges on improvements in people’s lives,” according to the Yemen Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Johannes Van Der Klaauw. “Yemen risks becoming a forgotten emergency, yet the scale of needs makes it one of the largest global humanitarian emergencies today.”

Humanitarian partners in Yemen estimate that 10.5 million people in Yemen are food insecure, more than a million children under 5 are acutely malnourished, and 13.1 million people have no access to clean water or sanitation. In addition, some 8.6 million lack access to health care; over 300,000 people remain displaced in the north; and over 243,000 refugees have sought refuge in the country. These numbers do little to fully convey the suffering of affected individuals.

Reminding the world of the scale of this suffering is a central objective of the Yemen Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), a coordinated group of aid agencies that is seeking US$592 million to offer critical assistance to 7.6 million of the most vulnerable people. The highest- priority needs include food and nutrition, shelter, livelihoods opportunities, water, sanitation, health services, and protection of internally displaced people, refugees, migrants and other vulnerable groups. To date, only about 11 per cent of required funds have been received.

“The people of Yemen deserve to live a life where they have access to adequate food, proper nutrition, safe water, health care, education and economic opportunities,” the Humanitarian Coordinator added. “Recent conflicts in Amran and Al Dhale’e Governorates have exacerbated this situation. Women, girls and boys are particularly vulnerable because of lack of access to protection, education, health care and economic opportunities.”

The Humanitarian Country Team is eager to work with all stakeholders – including the Friends of Yemen – to ensure that efforts move forward to resolve Yemen’s longer-term drivers of vulnerability while continuing to provide – and where necessary, expand – urgent relief programmes. With a growing number of partners – including more Gulf-based and Yemeni organizations – the HCT is confident of its ability to reach and assist people in need in nearly all locations, provided adequate resources are available. HCT members feel strongly that the humanitarian crisis – both its immediate relief and longer-term resolution – is central to efforts to promote a sustainable transition in Yemen. Donors and all Yemen’s partners are encouraged to integrate this understanding into their work and to provide full support for humanitarian action throughout 2014.

For more information, contact Mr. Erich Ogoso, ogoso@un.org or +967712222831

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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