Yemen UNHCR Update, March 2018



22.2 million people in need

2,014,026 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

89 per cent of IDPs displaced for more than a year

956,076 IDP returnees

338,609 IDP and refugee recipients of cash grants in 2017

280,692 refugees and asylum seekers


USD 198.7 M requested in 2018

Humanitarian Challenges and Critical Needs

Conflict in Yemen has left 22.2 million people, 75 per cent of the population, in need of humanitarian assistance and has created a severe protection crisis in which millions face risks to their safety and are struggling to survive. As of early 2018, Yemenis are facing multiple crises, including armed conflict, displacement, risk of famine and the outbreaks of diseases including cholera – creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. According to the latest Humanitarian Needs Overview for Yemen, more than 5.4 million people require assistance with shelter, core relief items (CRIs) and in collective centres. An escalation of hostilities in late 2017 resulted in new displacement, precluded safe return and increased demands on UNHCR’s emergency response capacity, with more than two million people displaced. Protection space for 280,000 refugees and asylum seekers also continues to shrink, resulting in severe protection gaps. Refugees are at heightened risk of exploitation in the absence of livelihood opportunities and increasing aid-dependency.

Against a backdrop of intensified fighting and soaring needs, UNHCR is facing a funding shortfall despite the situation in Yemen now constituting the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. To address the gap, UNHCR urgently needs USD 198.7M in 2018 to reach the most vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced (IDPs), and IDP returnees.

UNHCR Priorities and Response

More than ever, UNHCR will prioritize maintaining and building its capacity to mobilize rapidly, reliably and effectively in response to emergencies and to strengthen protection response for persons of concern, including through the expansion of the cash programme. During 2018, UNHCR will place particular emphasis on the following activities, which when taken together, will advance protection and solutions for refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs and IDP returnees in Yemen;

  • Provide lifesaving support and legal assistance (including access to documentation, advocacy against unlawful detention) for refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs and IDP returnees;

  • Increase the scope of cash-based interventions for refugees, IDPs and IDP returnees as the most effective tool to deliver assistance;

  • Jointly with the Yemen authorities, preserving the protection space as much as possible for refugees arriving and residing in Yemen (including for child protection, protection from sexual and gender-based violence SGBV, access to registration and civil documentation, processing for solutions), in accordance with the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol to which Yemen is a signatory;

  • Advocate for and support diverse durable solutions for all people of concern including voluntary return, in the form of Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR), self-reliance, and other alternative pathways in support of comprehensive solutions;

  • Strengthen protection interventions for returnees and IDPs, particularly through community-based protection networks, to provide