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In March 2015, the conflict in Yemen entered a new phase, with the start of the military campaign carried out by the Coalition forces. Two years later, over 7,600 Yemenis have been killed, more than 42,000 have been injured and over 3 million have been displaced.
In the absence of a political agreement, ordinary Yemenis, the very ones that the warring parties claim to fight for, bear the brunt of the conflict.
With an alarming 18.8 million people - over two thirds of the population - in need of some kind of assistance or protection to meet their basic needs, Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time.
Of particular concern is the rapidly deteriorating food security situation in the country, with 60 per cent of the population - 17 million people - food insecure. This means that Yemenis are not able to feed themselves adequately and are frequently forced to miss meals and eat food of poor nutritional value. More worrying, because of the disruption and blocking of import mechanisms, the country is now facing the risk of famine in 2017.
“The conflict in Yemen is now the primary driver of the largest food security emergency in the world,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien in his last briefing to the Security Council on Yemen
Yemen’s economy has been severely affected by conflict. Already by far the poorest country in the region before the conflict, Yemen’s GDP per capita is estimated to have contracted by about 35 per cent since 2015. The salaries and pensions of 1.5 million civil servants have been sporadically paid in the past months. This is affecting close to one quarter of the Yemeni population. An estimated 8 million Yemenis have lost their livelihoods or are living in communities with minimal to no basic services. The fishing and agriculture sectors have been reduced by 65 and 50 per cent respectively and over 70 per cent of small and medium enterprises have been forced to lay off half of their workforce.
As a result of the conflict, social service provision has nearly ceased. The situation is particularly alarming in the health sector. An estimated 14.8 million people lack access to basic healthcare, including 8.8 million living in severely under-served areas. This has seen thousands of Yemenis dying from preventable diseases, which shockingly includes one child every ten minutes.
Alarmingly, the consequences of the conflict are affecting the wellbeing of coming generations of Yemenis. With over two million children acutely malnourished and at least two million children out of school, their future has already been impacted in terms of health and social and economic opportunities.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.