Crisis Insight: Yemen Crisis Impact Overview - Key humanitarian developments in 2020 and outlook for 2021 (10 May 2021)

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1. Civilians and civilian infrastructure

Armed violence resulted in several mass casualty events, and conflict continued to impact critical civilian infrastructure – particularly healthcare infrastructure.

Civilians and critical civilian infrastructure continued to be affected by conflict expanding into new areas. In 2020, active frontlines began to move closer to the inhabited areas of Al Jawf and Marib governorates. Nearly 800,000 displaced people continue to live in Marib governorate, which was previously seen as a place of relative peace and safety. At least 20 incidents of more than ten civilians being injured or killed were reported across Yemen in 2020, and over 18 health facilities were hit by either an airstrike or shelling (an increase of 50% from 2019), restricting access to critical healthcare for 200,000 households.

2. Displacement

People in Yemen continued to experience displacement as a result of the war and other factors, such as flash floods and COVID-19; the number of displaced people rose dramatically in Marib and Al Jawf, and overall challenges are increasing for IDPs

Peace negotiations and decreased conflict resulted in the reduced movement of people in governorates such as Hajjah. Other governorates, such as Al Jawf and Marib, saw increased displacement as a result of expanding conflict. Many households have been displaced multiple times throughout the conflict, which resulted in a dramatic reduction of income opportunities and depletion of savings for them and their host communities.

3. Protection and vulnerability

Health workers and people dependent on remittances have emerged as new vulnerable groups.

The protection risks present in previous years have been aggravated by continuous conflict, increased challenges for humanitarian operations, and reduced funding. The COVID-19 pandemic further complicated the situation. Health workers, people dependent on remittances, people with underlying health conditions, and daily wage workers emerged as new groups considered ‘vulnerable’.

4. Humanitarian access

COVID-19 and other factors have increased access constraints, affecting the quality of services provided.

While progress was made with authorities concerning programme approval in 2020, the overall operating environment remained extremely challenging. Access was impeded for security, physical, and bureaucratic reasons. Humanitarian operations faced increased restrictions and costs related to reduced funding. An estimated nine million people experienced access constraints in meeting their needs.

5. Economy

Deteriorating economic conditions continued to affect people’s purchasing power.

Economic conditions worsened for the Yemeni population because of the conflict and varying macroeconomic trends. The situation has further decreased people’s purchasing power, making it harder for households to pay for their needs.