Photo: Flyktninghjelpen/Mohamed Qatab
Our humanitarian assistance in Yemen
Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world and a civil war between the Government army and a rebel group has been on-going for several years. In 2015, the situation drastically deteriorated which seriously impacted on the population. There is a severe lack of food, medicine and fuel and around 82 per cent of the population are in need of humanitarian aid.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to great financial difficulties, the country has been badly affected by the armed conflict and political instability. In 2015, the situation deteriorated in March, after a coalition led by Saudi Arabia initiated air strikes against the rebels. Fighting spread across the country with very serious consequences for the population The already gruelling humanitarian situation has rapidly deteriorated.
Before the crisis escalated, approximately 90 per cent of all of the country's food was imported, but the conflict has affected trade and transport, leading to a great shortage of food, fuel and other products. 82 per cent of the population are currently in need of some form of humanitarian aid.
Yemen is one of the countries in the world that is suffering the greatest food shortages. Approximately 3 million people are suffering from severe malnourishment, including children under five, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Another major issue is the lack of water – 75 per cent of the population lacks access to safe drinking water.
The fighting has destroyed hospitals, schools, roads and bridges and it is hard for aid organisations to access those affected. Due to many years of turbulence, 2.7 million people have been displaced within the country and tens of thousands of people have fled to Somalia and Djibouti.
Those left behind are very vulnerable and are in great need of protection. Women and children are particularly exposed in Yemen, which is listed as the world's least equal country.
Sida's support to Yemen
Sida's humanitarian work in Yemen includes life-saving efforts and protection of vulnerable groups. The support for nourishment programmes, for instance, has helped to reduce the number of acutely malnourished children. Sida also place great importance on coordination and crisis response, and our work has paid off in terms of improving preparedness and response.
To cover unforeseen needs, Sida has a Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), a quick and flexible fund which our partner organisations can use when they need to launch an operation at short notice.
Examples of Sida's support
The UN's children's fund Unicef: In Yemen, Unicef mainly works to set up temporary schools, to counteract and prevent malnourishment among children and pregnant women, to provide people with access to clean water and basic sanitation, to protect children from human trafficking and abuse and offer them psychosocial support.
Action Against Hunger (ACF): Among other measures, the ACF treats acute malnourishment, trains health care staff and provides advice and care to pregnant women who and during the postpartum period. ACF also works with water supply and sanitation. This may, for instance, involve transporting tanks of water in the event of acute water shortages, providing support to the water authorities to allow them to repair water distribution systems that have stopped functioning and delivering water to areas where many internal refugees live.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC): The support to the NRC will, for instance, contribute to providing families with clean drinking water, both via transporting tanks and installing water tanks. People will also be given water filters and hygiene products. Field workers will conduct campaigns among the population to promote good hygiene.