Humanitarian agencies seek $177 million for Yemen

(Sana'a/New York, 14 December 2009): Relief agencies today appealed for over US$177 million to meet the acute and chronic humanitarian needs of some 1.6 million vulnerable people in Yemen through the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP).

The response plan will allow United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and Government counterparts to provide life- and livelihood-saving humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations by addressing protracted humanitarian and recovery needs while contributing to the stability of the country throughout 2010.

The situation in Yemen is becoming increasingly complex as the country faces a series of compounded emergencies. "Humanitarian needs are serious and increasing, and we fear that vital development gains are being lost," said Ms. Pratibha Mehta, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.

Yemen suffers from chronic underdevelopment and is both a low income, food-deficit country and one of the world's least developed, suffering from weak infrastructure, widespread poverty and unemployment, rapid population growth, low educational levels, and high gender disparities. Needs have been exacerbated by the armed conflict that escalated in August 2009 between the Government and the Houthi group. Families with limited coping mechanisms have seen them further stretched by a series of crises - including high food prices, economic downturn, conflict, and climate change - leaving them increasingly vulnerable.

Current requirements of those affected by the situation include food; health and nutrition; protection; shelter and non-food items; and water, sanitation and hygiene. "This humanitarian response plan will enable some 1.3 million food-insecure people, including an estimated 200,000 displaced from the Sa'ada conflict as well as over 162,000 refugees, to meet their critical needs. I would therefore like to appeal for prompt and generous donor support for the plan," added Ms. Mehta.

Challenges to deliver humanitarian aid remain high, but aid workers on the ground are striving to ensure that assistance is maximized through coordination efforts at all levels.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 347 244 2106,; Nicholas Reader +1 212 963 4961, mobile +1 646 752 3117,; John Nyaga +1 917 367 9262, +1 917 318 8917,; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile +41 79 473 4570,

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