Joint Statemen: 75 percent of the Yemeni population, are grappling with humanitarian needs

Already exhausted by more than eight years of war, over 21.6 million people, 75 percent of the Yemeni population, are grappling with humanitarian needs. 1 The people of Yemen need and want to look into the future and move away from humanitarian assistance towards self-reliance and rebuilding their country.
Yemen stands at the historic opportunity for a shift towards lasting peace. The humanitarian community is committed to supporting this shift.

Today, we are still faced with 17 million people who are food insecure. This includes 6.1 million2 people in the emergency phase under the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which signifies extreme food shortages and acute malnutrition, especially affecting women and children, with a risk of hunger-related deaths. 3 Yemen faces critical water shortages for both agricultural production and human use4 . Nearly 15.4 million people require access to safe water and sanitation to avoid being at risk of cholera and other deadly diseases. Overcrowded living conditions in camps, low immunization rates, and inaccessibility to many children, have seen an increase in measles and rubella cases. Yemen’s health system continues to crumble under the pressure to meet increasing needs with little or no resources, resulting in an estimated 20.3 million people lacking access to healthcare. Across the country, one woman dies every two hours during pregnancy or childbirth, while 6 of 10 births occur without a skilled birth attendant. 5 Mine clearance must be highly prioritised, as Yemen remains one of the world’s most contaminated countries with explosive remnants of war (ERW) leading to death and maiming, particularly children.

At least 17.7 million people require protection assistance and services. 6 Women and girls, in particular, face increased risks of violence and exploitation while trying to access basic services due to distant, challenging journeys. More than 9 million children are at risk and need protection and essential services.7 Nearly one in four Yemenis, or over 5.5 million people, suffer from mental health disorders, mainly as a result of living for years in conflict, and require medical intervention.8 Tens of thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers travelling on one of the world’s most hazardous routes between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East are exposed to many dangers, including violence, being caught in the conflict frontline, trafficking, and detainment. An estimated 209,000 migrants and more than 71,000 refugees and asylum seekers remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance throughout the country, particularly children who are extremely vulnerable to severe dangers.

Despite the magnitude of these humanitarian needs, the decreasing funding trends continue to worry the humanitarian community in Yemen, with a huge funding gap, steadily rising over the past 5 years, further compounding the situation. By August 2023, the Humanitarian Response Plan has seen only 31.2 percent of the USD 4.34 billion needed in funding9 , resulting in drastic and concerning cuts to aid, impacting the most vulnerable in Yemen. Among these, the recently announced global funding cuts by WFP will lead to a suspension of malnutrition prevention interventions in Yemen from end of September, affecting 2.4 million people. 10 Funding cuts are leaving millions of already vulnerable people exposed to circulating disease outbreaks, hunger, and limited access to health care, as support to health facilities in the most vulnerable areas is also reducing. After 2019, when humanitarian funding was at 87 percent, the funding coverage repeatedly fell well short of needs, eventually amounting to barely over 50 percent in 2022.

The full statement reliefweb