The Yemen humanitarian crisis continues to worsen as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have estimated that 24 million people (nearly 80% of their population) are in need of humanitarian assistance. A combination of conflicts in the country, cholera outbreaks and famine have led to the current state of crisis…
According to The Guardian, Yemen has seen over 137,000 suspected cases of cholera and nearly 300 deaths from the disease between January and March 2019 alone. What’s more, the problem doesn’t seem to be improving. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 suspected cases of cholera are still being reported every day, with a quarter of those infected being children under five.
The widespread famine in Yemen began in 2016 and the United Nations (UN) have reported that if the current state of war continues, they could be facing the worst famine in 100 years.
In a Humanitarian Response Plan created in February 2019, shocking figures revealed that 10 million people in Yemen are one step away from famine and starvation. They also added that almost a quarter of the population (7.4 million people) are malnourished.
The Yemeni Civil War has been ongoing since 2015 and as a result nearly 15% of the population (4.3 million people) have been forced to flee their homes. According to the same Humanitarian Response Plan, Yemen saw a total of 15,170 conflict incidents between October 2017 and September 2018 alone.
In addition, The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) have accumulated data reporting over 70,000 war related deaths in Yemen between January 2016 and April 2019. They have also highlighted that since 2016 there have been 7,000 civilian deaths, which occurred as a result of 3,155 direct attacks targeting civilians.
Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Yemen
According to this UNHCR Operational Update, as of 10 May 2019 there were 264,921 refugees and 9,557 asylum seekers living in Yemen, of which 90% are Somalis.
With the crisis in Yemen resulting in safety concerns and a lack of access to basic services, many Somali refugees are requesting assistance to return home. The Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) programme, facilitated by the UNHCR, began in 2017 and has so far returned approximately 4,300 Somali refugees home.
Somali refugee Saeed, who sought refuge in Yemen in 1992, chose to return home because “the situation in Somalia is becoming more and more stable” and he is “happy to go back”. However, the Human Rights Watch ‘Somalia Events of 2018’ report suggests there’s still a long way to go before there are no concerns around the security and safety of living in the country. Amongst other concerns, the report highlights the number of internally displaced people in Somalia reaching approximately 2.7 million.
Find out more about the events that took place in Somalia in 2018 here.
How can we help?
Although charities appreciate volunteers, the best way for you to help them is to donate where you can. This will not only enable them to provide lifesaving resources, but also to keep the charity going so that they can continue to help people in need.
The following charities are all working to provide lifesaving care to those affected by Yemen’s humanitarian crisis: