Yemen’s humanitarian crisis worsens every dayMore than two years of relentless conflict in Yemen have devastated the lives of millions of people. Over 20.7 million people in Yemen require humanitarian assistance with 9.8 million in acute need of assistance. An estimated 17 million people – 60 % of the total population - are in need of food assistance, while a staggering 7 million people do not know where their next meal is coming from, and are at risk of famine. 2.9 million people are now internally displaced.
The conflict in Yemen has made safe access by humanitarian workers to populations in need a daily challenge. 21 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates have been directly affected by airstrikes, armed clashes, and heavy shelling which have resulted in further killing and injury of innocent civilians. Furthermore, unemployment, water scarcity, rampant poverty and insufficient basic services, including health and education, combined with a scarcity of resources, create the backdrop for a severe humanitarian crisis.
The conditions for civilian population in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a are “deteriorating by the hour”. The UN says Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe and while a coalition blockade on aid has been eased, the majority of commercial ships are still not being allowed into the country’s Red Sea ports.
“Millions of Yemenites don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Without the ports being re-opened, so large quantities of food can enter via commercial ships, it simply won’t be possible to feed them. So we are calling for unhindered access of goods to enter Yemen, in order for people to survive,” says Stef Deutekom, Country Director for the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in Yemen.
Shortages of food, water, and medical supplies are critical. A recent cholera outbreak is spreading and over a million suspected cases are projected by early 2018.
“Given the massive scale of Yemen's humanitarian crisis, and without the full resumption of commercial imports, especially food, fuel and medicines, millions of children, women and men risk mass hunger, disease and death. The impact of this conflict on the lives of the civilian population has reached a horrifying level while humanitarian workers are hindered in their effort to reach people in need. Civilian populations have been through traumatic events, including the loss of family members, direct exposure to brutal violence, and restricted access to humanitarian support,” says Stef Deutekom.
The Danish Refugee Council is responding to the overwhelming humanitarian needs by providing food, access to clean water, provision of shelter and protection. All Yemenis in extreme situations need immediate and safe access to food, water and medical care, as their survival highly depends on humanitarian assistance.