Yemen

Situation Report

Highlights

  • From severe drought to intense flooding, Yemen teeters on the brink
  • An unstable economy worsens an already alarming food insecurity situation
  • Aid agencies continue to deliver
  • Critical health care programme faces closure
  • Empowering displaced families via cash assistance
Yemen Humanitarian Update No. 8, August 2022
Emergency relief for flood-affected IDPs in Al Jawf. Photo: YARD, UNFPA Yemen

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Yemen

Situation Report

Key Figures

23.4M
People in Need
12.9M
People in Acute Need
4.3M
Displaced People

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Yemen

Situation Report

Funding

$4.3B
Required
$2B
Received
47%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Sajjad Sajid

Head of Office

Tapiwa Gomo

Head of Communication

Yemen

Situation Report
Feature
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From severe drought to intense flooding, Yemen teeters on the brink

Yemen’s rainy season can be divided into two: the first rains from March to May and the second from July to August. During the 2022 rainy season, Yemen experienced two weather extremes, swinging from a severe drought to intense flooding as the country bears the brunt of climate crisis. It is already one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.

Weather updates from FAO show that between January and June, Yemen experienced moderate-to-severe drought conditions. These were coupled with an unprecedented rise in temperatures, affecting all cropped regions of the country. The drought conditions intensified, becoming severe between April and May. January to June was the third record driest period in nearly 40 years after 2014 and 2000. These moderate-to-severe drought conditions led to crop losses, heat stress and limited forage availability for livestock, according to FAO. While the impact of severe drought experienced in the first part of the rainy season is yet to be fully assessed, generally such conditions threaten livelihoods, negatively affecting the food security situation, increasing the risk of diseases, malnutrition, and, in extreme cases deaths. Further impacts include habitat and landscape degradation, increased prices of water and food, and may lead to massive migration and displacement.

By mid-July, torrential rains and flooding had hit several areas across Yemen. According to FAO, rainfall in July was nearly 300 per cent above normal, making the second half of the season the wettest in nearly 40 years. Amanat Al Asimah, Dhamar, Amran and Sana’a stations reported heavy downpours exceeding 150 mm and, usually dry governorates such as Hadramaut and Al Maharah were extremely wet throughout the month. These conditions persisted throughout much of August with the country experiencing the impact of the heavy rains and devastating floods.

By the end of August, an estimated 51,000 families (more than 300,000 people) — mostly in displacement sites and settlements – were affected across 146 districts in 18 governorates, according to field reports from authorities and partners. Flooding caused destruction of property, farms and livelihoods, damage to critical infrastructure such as roads and shelters for internally displaced people (IDP) and, in some areas, human death. Flooding, just like the severe drought in the first half of the season greatly exacerbates food insecurity in a country where up to 19 million are food insecure. Field reports indicate that flooding has also moved unexploded ordnance to residential and agricultural areas, posing a grave risk to civilians, especially children.

These extreme weather conditions further exacerbated humanitarian needs, adding another layer of suffering for millions of Yemeni people, already severely affected by over seven years of economic collapse and protracted conflict. More than 23 million people need humanitarian assistance or protection. Aid agencies can only assist an average 11.6 million people per month as the 2022 response plan – seeking $4.27 billion – is only 42 per cent funded (as at the end of August) forcing aid agencies to reduce assistance and close programmes due to severe funding shortfalls. The malnutrition rate among women and children is among the highest in the world and a third of the 4.3 million IDPs in Yemen continue to live under dire conditions. Without the tireless commitment of humanitarians in Yemen, the situation would be far worse.

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An unstable economy worsens an already alarming food insecurity situation

The humanitarian situation remains alarming with food insecurity at the highest point since the conflict escalated in 2015. Some 19 million people - more than 60 per cent of the population - are estimated to be experiencing acute food insecurity between June and December.

Beyond conflict, some of the major drivers of food insecurity include a depreciating exchange rate, fuel imports, global fuel and food prices, global food supply chain and food imports and severe humanitarian funding gap.

The broader economic outlook is bleak, including in terms of a depreciating exchange rate and low household purchasing power. The exchange rate is now worse than it was before the truce. The local currency in southern governorates has lost 22 per cent of its value since mid-April. When the truce was announced, the Yemeni Riyal had appreciated sharply in the Government of Yemen (GoY) - controlled areas. Shortages in foreign currency reserves prevail. However, the Riyal largely remained stable in northern governorates at an average of YER550 to the US dollars.

Despite a 160 per cent increase in fuel imports in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, local petrol and diesel prices increased across the country during July 2022. Fuel prices doubled year-on-year in the south and increased significantly in the north.

Food imports through Al Hodeidah and As Salif between January and July 2022 increased by 10 per cent compared to 2021, but the increase could not compensate for the 52 per cent drop in Aden ports. Continued shortages in humanitarian funding and food stocks have led aid agencies to further reduce food rations during the fourth distribution cycle in 2022.

As a result of a combination of these factors and others, economic food access for Yemenis remains highly constrained. The cost of the minimum food basket (MFB) has increased by 74 per cent in GoY areas and by 38 per cent in AA areas over the past 12 months. In July 2022, the proportion of households lacking access to adequate food increased to 55 per cent in GoY areas, and to 50 per cent in AA areas. Food insecurity reached critically high levels in 20 out of the 22 governorates.

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Emergency Response
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Aid agencies continue to deliver

Humanitarians continue to deliver assistance to affected people and minimize human suffering against a backdrop of challenges due to economic decline, conflict, insecurity, flooding and bureaucratic impediments. In the first six months of 2022, some 170 humanitarian organizations delivered aid to an average of 11.61 million people per month. While the number of people reached with assistance per sector/cluster remained low due to a severe lack of funding, partners continued to provide support to millions of people – an average of 9.3 million people were reached each month with food assistance and over 3.9 million people were provided with water, sanitation, and hygiene services, over 574,620 people assisted with healthcare and nearly half a million people received nutritional support.

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Yemen

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Critical health care programme faces closure

Health partners in Ma’rib have sounded alarm bells that by early September more than a quarter of a million people will be left without access to critical health care services due to a severe lack of funding. The closure will also impact an estimated 10,650 pregnant women, 38,767 children, 42,744 people living with disability and 1,830 migrants in Ma’rib.

The Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan - which is seeking $4.27 billion - is only 42 per funded by the end of August with the Health Cluster having received only 48 per cent of the $398 million requirement for 2022 response programmes. Severe lack of funding presents a serious threat to the lives of thousands of extremely vulnerable people mainly in Ma’rib which hosts the highest number of conflict displaced people and is worst affected by current flooding. Health partners expect health services to reduce by early September in hospitals, especially in emergency departments, operation rooms and neonatal intensive care units. If funding is not secured, access to health care services will be reduced which could trigger the spread of endemic, water-borne, and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, as well as acute diarrheal diseases and malnutrition, especially in displacement sites. Lack of funding will also lead to reduced access to primary health care including medical supplies for people leaving with chronic illnesses.

With only 51 per cent of health facilities considered fully functional in Yemen, the funding shortage led to a noticeable decline in supported health facilities numbers and a threat of project closures through the year 2022. Many health facilities are reported to lack operational specialized cadre, equipment, and basic medicines, especially in hard-toreach areas. The armed conflict and frequent bursting of active frontlines, economic decline and natural disasters such as floods; are posing further stress on the health system by exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and embedding access to health services.

Despite the funding shortages, the health cluster and its partners have reached more than 4.4 million people (35 per cent) out of 12.6 million estimated to be in acute need of health services in Yemen as of July 2022. The health cluster partners supported a wide range of life-saving health services in more than 1,400 fixed health facilities (215 Hospitals, 412 Health Centers, 814 Health Units) and 759 functional mobile teams across the country.

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Emergency Response

Empowering displaced families via cash assistance

Thousands of families including Zainab, a 37-year-old mother of five children, were forced to flee their homes in search of safety and security as the war escalated across Sa’dah Governorate in 2017. Zainab and her children moved to the Al-Ghathamah site to settle in a tent. She was worried about how she was going to access food, healthcare services, household items, and shelter for herself and her children .

“After the forced displacement, we were surviving on one meal a day,” said Zainab. Before she fled her home, Zainab worked as a farmer to earn daily wages, enabling her to afford family needs and put food on the table. She never gave up. In the Al-Ghathamah displacement, she woke up every day to collect used plastic bottles for resale to earn money to feed her family.

Relief and Development Peer Foundation (RDP), with the support of the Yemen Humanitarian fund (YHF), launched a project to help people facing challenges such as Zainab. She and her family are part of the 180 families in Al-Ghathamah displacement sites receiving unconditional cash transfer assistance. The project has contributed immensely towards improving access to daily family requirements, mainly enabling families to buy food of their choice. In addition, with cash in their hands, some internally displaced families are now able to identify their priorities and how to spend the cash on a wide range of needs from food for the families to household items. Receiving cash has enabled displaced families to meet their varying needs in a respected and dignified manner.

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Yemen

Situation Report
Feature
WHD
Communities join the World Humanitarian Day commemoration event in Ta’iz Governorate. Photo: Ma`akum Developmental Foundation

In Yemen, humanitarian workers save lives every day

The humanitarian community in Yemen joined the world in commemorating World Humanitarian Day (WHD). Each year, the United Nations and aid agencies mark World Humanitarian Day on 19 August to advocate for the survival, well-being, and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers.

For the first time in many years, a local partner in collaboration with OCHA organized a WHD event in Ma′rib Governorate which was attended by local authorities and local and international aid agencies. The authorities as well as humanitarian partners highlighted the importance of the day and appreciated the important role of aid workers in the governorate. Another event was also organized by a local partner in Ta′iz Governorate with participation from local authorities and support from OCHA .

Aid workers in Yemen – more than 95 per cent of whom are Yemenis – ensure that 11.6 million people on average receive humanitarian assistance or protection support every month. But they operate in an extremely challenging environment. They are often subjected to threats to their safety and wellbeing, even as they work to save lives and reduce suffering daily.

In recent months, aid workers have been targets of disinformation and incitement, including false allegations that they corrupt Yemeni values, including the morals of young women. Such baseless allegations jeopardize the safety and security of humanitarian workers, especially Yemeni female aid workers at a time when women and girls are experiencing increased levels of violence and a rollback of their rights in many parts of the globe.

In a statement to mark the day, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, noted, “Violence and threats against humanitarian workers undermine the delivery of aid, further jeopardizing the lives of those most in need. ” He added that; “Aid workers in Yemen deserve to be celebrated for their selfless dedication.”

“Aid workers in Yemen remain unwavering in their mission. These selfless women and men continue to step up every day, providing millions of people in need with food and cash, health services and clean water, protection and emergency education,” Mr. Gressly said. “We should all do everything we can to protect them and support their critical work.”

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