Yemen: Scenarios for the next six months (21 April 2015)

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Crisis Overview

Escalating Conflict

Since September 2014, instability and violence have escalated across the country and attempts at political transition have failed. The Shiite Houthi Movement from northern Yemen rejects the proposed division of the country into six federal states. Conflict between the Houthis, and President Hadi’s anti-Houthi coalition, backed by Western and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies has escalated since 23 March. The conflict is characterised by fragmentation and complex, at times transitory, alliances. On 26 March, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched Operation Decisive Storm, with air attacks on 18 out of 22 governorates. The attacks have failed to halt the Houthis’ southward advance.

Humanitarian Impact

  • 150,000 people have been internally displaced by the recent escalation in violence.

  • There are urgent protection concerns for the civilian population in Yemen as the conflict continues to escalate.

  • Electricity and fuel shortages have affected water supplies.

  • The naval blockade severely exacerbates shortages of food and humanitarian aid.

  • Food insecurity has risen by 13% to 12 million people.

  • Humanitarian needs in Yemen were extremely high even before the recent escalation of the crisis, with 15.9 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

  • Economic crisis compounds the situation. Oil revenues have fallen drastically in recent years. In January, production was suspended in the major oil-producing governorates of Shabwah and Hadramaut in the east.