Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Millions of Yemenis are affected by a triple man-made tragedy: the brutal armed conflict, a looming famine and multiple outbreaks of preventable diseases. Civilians face constant threats to their lives, safety, well-being and basic rights.
The conflict has been marred by repeated violations of international humanitarian law, including mass civilian casualties, and destruction to infrastructure.
The government is no longer able to sustain the delivery of basic services, including healthcare, nutrition services, water and electricity supply, and social safety net services. Imports and distribution of basic food items, fuel and medicine have become more difficult and costlier as a result of restricted access by aid workers. Water and power plants, factories, markets and shops have stopped functioning in many locations. The payment of salaries to public servants have been erratic for over two years, and inflation and a liquidity crisis have delivered the last blow to the resilience of millions.
In 2018, an estimated 22.2 million people - 75% of the population - are in need of humanitarian assistance or protection. This includes 8.4 million Yemenis, who do not know where their next meal will come from.
The public health situation is dire, with several epidemics reported by health organisations. The country has been struggling with a massive cholera outbreak since 2017, with over 10 000 suspected cases still reported on a weekly basis.
The recent rapid and uncontrolled depreciation of the Yemeni rial has worsened the crisis. If current trends continue, an additional 3 to 5.6 million Yemenis could become severely food insecure in the coming months.
Humanitarian partners report that nearly 600 civilians, including more than 130 children, were killed between 1 August and 15 October 2018. Over 570 000 people have been forced to flee their homes since the fighting escalated across Hodeidah Governorate in June. Reports of grave violations against women and children have spiked dramatically.
Since the beginning of the conflict in 2015, the EU has allocated €314.7 million in humanitarian aid to the Yemen crisis. The latest addition of €90 million in life-saving assistance to the Yemeni population aims to boost lifesaving efforts of humanitarian organisations.
A further €71 million has been mobilised in EU development aid in 2018. The EU’s humanitarian aid programmes provide life-saving assistance, such as food, water, emergency shelter, and hygiene items, to people in war-affected areas and to displaced populations.
EU-funded projects also treat severely malnourished children, as well as provide emergency healthcare and food security programmes. In response to the cholera epidemic, the EU funds treatment centres and prevention activities, while also supporting emergency outbreak response in areas affected by measles and diphtheria.
In addition, the EU supports the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS), which provides critical and reliable air and sea transport to humanitarian aid workers and cargo.In June 2018, fighting started around the city port of Hodeidah, which still is estimated to host around 250,000 civilians and is a critical facility for both commercial and humanitarian imports to the country. A total of some 500,000 people have been displaced from the city and require sustained humanitarian aid. Despite access and security challenges, the EU’s humanitarian partners continue to provide assistance to the affected population in the area.
Aid agencies are implementing the world’s largest humanitarian operation in Yemen, with as many as 8 million people receiving life-saving assistance every month.