Aid partners appeal for US$3.85 billion to avert famine in Yemen [EN/AR]

News and Press Release
Originally published


Sana’a, 17 March 2021 – Yesterday, the Humanitarian Country Team in Yemen released the 2021 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP), appealing for US$3.85 billion to provide humanitarian assistance to some 16 million people in need, including 12.1 million people in acute need.

“The toll that more than six years of conflict have taken on the people of Yemen is devastating,” said Mr. David Gressly, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “People in Yemen need urgent humanitarian assistance to fend off hunger, to access essential health services, to maintain their dignity and resilience and to rebuild their communities.”

This follows the release of the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) on 21 February, which showed that Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and is at high risk of further deterioration. More than 16.2 million people face hunger in 2021, including nearly 50,000 people who are already experiencing famine-like conditions. Some 5 million people are on the verge of famine. An estimated 7.6 million people require services to treat or prevent malnutrition and over 2.25 million children aged below five and more than a million pregnant and breastfeeding women are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021. With at least one child dying every 10 minutes because of preventable diseases, humanitarian partners estimate that 20.1 million people in Yemen need health assistance.

“Yemen is approaching the point of no return. If we make the wrong choice now, Yemen will experience the worst famine the world has seen in decades,” said Mr. Gressly. “What the international donor community chooses to do next is vitally important. It is a choice between fully funding the humanitarian operation or doing nothing and watching the country fall deeper into famine. I urge donor countries and Yemen’s partners to provide immediate support. The millions of Yemenis who are starving, suffering from disease and bearing the brunt of six years of protracted conflict can’t wait. Yemen can’t wait.”

The 2021 YHRP strategy is centered on three priority objectives: preventing disease outbreaks and reducing morbidity and mortality; preventing famine, malnutrition and restoring livelihoods; and protecting and assisting civilians.

More than 20.7 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance and protection, and the $3.85 billion YHRP will enable 167 partners to assist the millions of people in Yemen in dire need of help. At the high-level pledging event co-hosted by the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland on 1 March, donors pledged only $1.7 billion of the total required to help 16 million Yemenis in desperate need this year. To date, only $374 million has been disbursed to aid agencies.