Consequences of underfunding
Without donors’ support, close to a million vulnerable displaced Yemenis, including women, children, heads of household with disabilities, will be exposed to heightened protection risks, potentially leaving many of them at critical risk of falling into hunger and resorting to harmful coping strategies. Out of the estimated four million IDP population across Yemen, over 2.6 million individuals live in districts categorized as being in an emergency food insecure situation, a phase just below famine stage. Families displaced by the conflict are four times more at risk of famine than the rest of the Yemeni population. UNHCR’s targeted cash support helps them meet their most immediate needs, including food, healthcare, and rent. The latest post-distribution monitoring conducted by UNHCR further reveals that within the last few months 73 per cent of IDPs regularly resorted to at least four harmful coping mechanisms to survive, including cutting on food rations, child labour, survival sex and forced recruitment of children into armed groups. In other humanitarian settings the average is two, which demonstrates not only the severity of the humanitarian crisis but the importance of UNHCR’s cash assistance in preventing people from resorting to these mechanisms. Findings also show that, without UNHCR cash, families cut spending on hygiene items, baby supplies, education, and medicines. Without support they are more likely to stop paying rent, incur in additional debts, thus increasing the likelihood of evictions and tension with host communities.
Shelter and site management
If funding is not urgently received more than 540,000 vulnerable displaced Yemenis risk not having access to adequate shelter and basic items such as kitchen sets, mattresses and blankets, exposing them and their families to the elements, communicable diseases and increased protection risks especially for women and girls. UNHCR will be further forced to stop key coordination activities in IDP hosting sites across the country, undermining WASH, protection, and healthcare services.
Funding cuts risk leaving over 200,000 vulnerable displaced Yemenis without access to critical protection services such as psychosocial support, prevention and response to gender-based violence, child protection, legal assistance, including facilitation to obtain civils status documentation, and referral of persons with specific needs to specialized services. This will result in increased exposure of more than 35,000 displaced Yemeni families to human rights abuses and protection risks.
Overall refugee response
Funding cuts will leave more than 139,700 refugees and asylum-seekers without access to food, healthcare, and education assistance. This will likely significantly increase mortality and morbidity rates among the refugee population. Lack of resources will further result in a drastic reduction in protection services such as legal assistance, specialised services for children and survivors of gender-based violence, cash assistance, and registration and documentation services. Without adequate documentation, access of refugees to livelihood opportunities will be further hindered, pushing thousands of them into ensuing poverty and raising their exposure to harmful coping mechanisms such as child labour, begging, early marriages, and survival sex. In addition, lack of resources will preclude UNHCR from providing adequate services in Kharaz Refugee Camp as well as in neighbourhoods with a high density of refugees such as Basateen, increasing protection risks as well as the spread of communicable diseases due to insalubrious living conditions.