European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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A refugee camp in nearby Haddjah governorate. © European Union/ECHO/H.Veit

What are the needs?

Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa, and one of the poorest in the world. Political instability, armed conflicts, poor economic performance and chronic underdevelopment are at the heart of the complex and multi-faceted crisis Yemen is facing. Nearly 50 per cent of the population was living below the poverty line and the country had one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. The current conflict has exacerbated the existing humanitarian crisis and over 20.7 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia, with the support of a coalition of nine Arab states, launched an air campaign on Yemen against Houthi supporters in Sana’a and Sa’ada governorates, causing many deaths and a deterioration of the humanitarian situation. 

Government institutions are no longer able to deliver basic services to people in need, such as health care and nutrition services, water and electricity supply.

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. 

How are we helping?

The European Commission is supporting the people affected by the conflict as well as populations across the country suffering from malnutrition or facing food insecurity and armed clashes. The bulk of humanitarian funding is used to provide foodwater and sanitation, basic health careshelter and household items for the internally displaced people, the refugees from the Horn of Africa and the communities who are hosting these uprooted people.

The remaining funding is allocated to humanitarian agencies who provide appropriate treatment and relief to children suffering from acute malnutrition. 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. During 2015 and 2016, the EU allocated €120 million of humanitarian aid for the Yemen crisis. For 2017, the EU is providing €51.7 million in life-saving assistance to the Yemeni populations, bringing the humanitarian total allocation since the start of the conflict to €171.7 million.

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 humanitarian principles – is also being conducted.

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