Nine months since the beginning of a protracted and increasingly unpredictable conflict in Yemen, some 5,500 people have been killed and over 26,000 injured. The humanitarian impact of the conflict has been catastrophic, and an end to the fighting does not look imminent.
The peace talks scheduled on 14 January failed to be held and have been postponed to an unconfirmed date. The cease fire proposed for the duration of the previous peace talks was not respected by the warring parties triggering a continuation of the widespread violence, an increase of human fatalities and difficult humanitarian access to some affected areas such as Taiz and Sa’ada governorates. Humanitarian service provision facilities were subject to attacks, and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all parties to stop targeting civilians and to respect international humanitarian law.
The World Food Program reported an improvement in the food supply to the local market in December compared to November, due to an increase in commercial activity. However, this improvement has not enhanced the overall severe food insecurity situation across the country, especially among people acutely affected by the conflict—including Sa’ada, Taiz, Hajjah and Al Bayda governorates where populations have been experiencing food consumption shortages and increasing commodity prices.
As the humanitarian situation continues to be exacerbated in Taiz, most efforts have so far failed to get safe access to provide aid into the city. Dozens of truckloads of food assistance by WFP and IOM were blocked at the entries of the city. The World Health Organisation announced this week that five truckloads of assistance and 500 oxygen containers had been blocked from entering Taiz since 14 December 2015. However, MSF delivered two truckloads of medicine and supplies to two hospitals inside Taiz. A Saudi plane also dropped food and medical supplies into Taiz. Since August, Oxfam has scaled up its humanitarian activities reaching 135,202 conflict affected people in the four most affected districts in Taiz city as of 18 January. It is serving one district in the outskirts and in Al Shamayatayn district, to where thousands of IDPs fled to escape the violence.