STATEMENT BY THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR
We are witness to a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Civilians have experienced widespread suffering over the past four months. Vast amounts of civilian infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed. More than 1.4 million people have been forced out of their homes since 26 March, their lives and livelihoods, and that of conflict affected communities tragically disrupted. At least 27,392 people have been injured or killed. These numbers are still rising as the conflict rages. Restrictions on commercial imports have caused severe shortages and sharp price increases in basic commodities, such as fuel, food, and medicines, in a country that is highly dependent on these imported goods.
Humanitarian needs have increased by 33 per cent since March. Over the past four months, national and international aid organizations have worked tirelessly to deliver assistance to 6.9 million people throughout the country. Lack of funding and access constraints have critically hampered response eorts. Humanitarian partners have worked hard amidst insecurity, as well as ongoing conflict. Partners have also faced bureaucratic impediments, lack of local partners in some areas, and convoy delays at check points, while delivering assistance to conflict-affected areas.
This document summarizes what humanitarians have achieved since the escalation of conflict in March until the end of July 2015. While much has been accomplished, humanitarian needs continue to grow. The United Nations (UN) is establishing five operational hubs in Aden, Sa’ada, Al Hudaydah, Ibb, and Sana'a to improve its capacity to deliver aid across the country. I appeal to our donors to urgently support the UN and partners’ efforts to scale up response in Yemen. The needs are enormous. The Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) requires US$1.6 billion to be able to assist 11.7 million people, out of the 21 million people that need some form of humanitarian aid. The YHRP is currently 18 per cent funded - US$282 million. Because the funding is so low, UN agencies have been forced to borrow approximately US$160 million from internal funds in order to respond to the needs in Yemen.
For a stable and viable state, I urge all parties to the conflict to seek a political solution to the current conflict. A political solution is the only means through which suffering in Yemen will stop. Until that time, humanitarians will continue to alleviate suffering by reaching people in need with critical lifesaving assistance wherever they may be.
Johannes Van Der Klaauw Humanitarian Coordinator
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.