UN humanitarians say $4.3 billion needed to stop Yemen’s worsening crisis – Global Issues

The plan targets 17.3 million of the staggering 23.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protective services to save lives across the war-torn Arab nation as the first national truce in six years, coinciding with the month Muslim holy of Ramadan, remains widely await.

The UN-led truce between Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces supporting the internationally recognized government and the Houthi rebels (formerly known as Ansar Allah) who control much of the country, including the capital, Sa’ana, began on 2 December. April and is supposed to continue until May.

‘Answer urgently’ realities

“THE worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen is a reality that we urgently need to address” said David Gressly, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.

“The numbers this year are impressive. More than 23 million people – or nearly three-quarters of Yemen’s population – now need assistance. This represents an increase of almost three million people from 2021. Almost 13 million people are already facing acute levels of need.”

The escalation of the conflict over the past year has resulted in untold suffering and further disruption of public services, increasing humanitarian needs, said a press release issued by staff at the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Yemen.

A collapsing economy, another product of the seven-year war, has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of the poorest, with a record 19 million people in need of food assistance in the second half of 2022.

There is an estimate 161,000 facing “the most extreme hunger”, says OCHA. “Children continue to suffer horribly,” with 2.2 million acutely malnourished, including more than half a million at severe levels. Limited access to critical services continues to worsen conditions for the most vulnerable groups, including women and children.

‘Moment of Hope’

“This is also a time of hope for Yemen. The UN-led truce is a vital opportunity for aid agencies to scale up life-saving assistance and reach more people in dire need quickly, including in areas where access was limited due to armed conflict and insecurity,” said Gressly. “For aid agencies to step up efforts immediately, we have sufficient donor funding. Otherwise, the relief operation will collapse, despite the positive momentum we are seeing in Yemen today.”

At a high-profile fundraising event for Yemen held in March of this year, donors pledged $1.3 billion – just 30% of the total requirement for the 2022 HRP.

Another $300 million has been pledged since then, OCHA said. However, the response remains severely underfunded, leaving aid agencies with limited resources at a time when two-thirds of major UN programs in Yemen forced to scale back or close due to underfunding. “I urge all donors to fully fund the appeal and commit to disbursing the funds quickly,” said Mr. Gressly.

More than 4.3 million people have fled their homes since the current war broke out in 2015, making it the fourth largest internal displacement crisis on Earth.

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