UN: more than 21 million people in Yemen need basic humanitarian aid

WHO has provided 35 tonnes of medical supplies to health facilities in Hadramaut, Shabwah and Al Mahara in Yemen, which are sufficient to support over 665,000 individuals across the three governorates. Photo: WHO/Sadeq Al-Wesabi

24 November 2015 – Some 21.2 million people in Yemen – or 82 per cent of the population – require some kind of assistance to meet their basic needs, according to a recently-published overview of the country’s humanitarian needs for the next year carried out by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In its 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview, OCHA also notes that the severity of needs among vulnerable people has intensified across sectors amidst the conflict’s ongoing conflict. The overview finds that six months of violence have taken a “severe toll” on civilians’ lives and basic rights. Since 26 March, health facilities have reported more than 32,200 casualties – many of them civilians.

In the same period, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has verified 8,875 reports of human rights violations – an average of 43 violations every day. Verified incidents of child death or injury from March to September are reportedly almost five times higher than 2014 totals.

Since uprisings in early 2011, and the subsequent outbreak of violence in 2014, the United Nations has been engaging with the Yemeni parties, regional countries, Security Council members and other Member States with the aim of preparing the ground for a cessation of hostilities and a resumption of a political transition process towards a peaceful, stable and democratic country.

OCHA’s overview finds that millions of people in Yemen need assistance to ensure their basic survival. An estimated 14.4 million are food insecure, including 7.6 million who are severely food insecure, while another 19.3 million lack adequate access to clean water or sanitation, and nearly 320,000 children are severely acutely malnourished.

The overview also focuses on how the collapse of basic services in Yemen continues to accelerate. UN partners estimate that 14.1 million people lack sufficient access to healthcare, three million children and pregnant or lactating women require malnutrition treatment or preventive services, and 1.8 million children have been out of school since mid-March.

OCHA further notes that solid waste removal has come to a halt in several areas, with service availability rapidly contracting due to direct impact of conflict and insufficient resources to pay salaries or maintain services.

Turning to the effects of displacement, the overview says that UN relief partners estimate that 2.3 million people are currently displaced within Yemen – about half of whom are in Aden, Taiz, Hajjah and Al Dhale’e governorates – and an additional 121,000 have fled the country. OCHA estimates that about 2.7 million people now require support to secure shelter or essential household supplies, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and vulnerable host families.

Finally, OCHA says IDPs are currently sheltering in 260 schools, preventing access to education for 13,000 children.

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