What are the needs?
Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab Peninsula. Over 47% of the population lives below the poverty line on less than €2 a day. It has the world's third highest rate of malnutrition. Poverty combined with conflict, refugee and migrant flows and rising food prices has aggravated an already serious humanitarian crisis during the last year. Currently the most worrying humanitarian issues are malnutrition rates in parts of the country and the fact that almost one out of two Yemenis do not know where their next meal will come from.
Since 2004 recurrent armed clashes in the north have seen six major cycles of fighting and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Hundreds of thousands of people have not yet been able to return to their homes. Those who have gone home now struggle with slow reconstruction and a lack of even the most basic services. The conflict has also had a severe impact on the livelihoods of a million people living close to the former fighting zones. People fleeing fighting has also been in the south. Many have now returned home but struggle with difficult living conditions and a destroyed infrastructure.
Yemen is also directly affected by the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. Refugees, mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia, are stranded in the country and live in precarious conditions either in Kharaz (the only refugee camp) or in poor urban areas. These challenges are amplified by the political turmoil and economic meltdown of an already poor country.
Recently, a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against Houthi supporters in Sana’a and Sa’ada governorates, causing many deaths and a deterioration of the humanitarian situation. The situation in Aden is desperate with large numbers of casualties reported, health facilities overstretched and water and food supply disrupted. Intense fighting has led to yet more displacement of people.
How are we helping?
The European Commission is supporting populations across the country suffering from malnutrition or affected by food insecurity and armed clashes. The bulk of humanitarian funding is used to provide appropriate treatment and relief to children suffering from acute malnutrition. The remaining funding goes to providing food and cash, water and sanitation, basic health care, shelter and basic household items for the internally displaced people, the refugees from the Horn of Africa and the communities who are hosting these uprooted people. With the worsening conditions faced by an increasing number of migrants stranded in Yemen, the Commission is also funding shelter, health care, protection, as well as water and sanitation assistance for the most vulnerable ones.
A small portion of Commission funding is also used to ensure monitoring of the rapidly evolving humanitarian situation and security, as well as coordination among humanitarian actors and donors. Advocacy work, disseminating information about the principles of humanitarian aid: neutrality, impartiality and independence, is also being conducted.