After more than 6 years of conflict, Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Millions of Yemenis were displaced, destitute and hungry even before COVID-19 hit and the flow of remittances to the country drastically shrank.
Aid agencies warn that the window to prevent famine in 2021 is closing. To avert a worst-case scenario, there is a need to increase aid, grant humanitarian access and address the political and economic drivers of the crisis. The EU remains committed to maintaining its humanitarian support during the Yemen crisis.
What are the needs?
Conflict across Yemen continues to endanger civilians, trigger displacement and damage civilian infrastructures such as hospitals and schools. Imports of food, fuel and medicines are restricted, leading to shortages and high prices. In 2021, there has been a surge in violence at different front lines resulting in displacement, while heavy rains provoked floods and more displacement.
Two COVID-19 epidemic waves have further stretched health services in a country where the public health system is near collapse. The pandemic has also deprived millions of Yemenis of remittances sent by their families abroad as their incomes shrunk due to low oil prices, lockdowns and other restrictions.
Some 70% of the population requires humanitarian assistance or protection. Around 16.2 million people face food insecurity, of which more than 50% are children.
Famine-like conditions have returned to the country for the first time in 2 years, mostly in areas with conflict, displacement and limited humanitarian access. Acute malnutrition rates among children under 5 are the highest ever recorded, with over 500,000 cases in the South alone.
Despite the huge scale of urgent needs, the work of humanitarian organisations is extremely difficult. They regularly suffer violent incidents and face many impediments and access restrictions to reach those in need.