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Dhaka Tribune

Nine facts about the Yemen crisis

Update : 24 May 2017, 12:40 PM
The United Nations is raising funds for the victims of the Yemen War. Labelling it as the worst humanitarian crisis, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is carrying out a rigorous campaign on social media including Facebook describing the sorry state of the Shia-majority state where the Saudi-led coalition is conducting operations on a regular basis.Source: Stratfor (as of December 21, 2016) Who controls Yemen? Source: Stratfor (as of December 21, 2016) The humanitarian community requested $2.1 billion for 2017 to meet Yemen’s most urgent needs. But by mid-April, barely 15% of this appeal had been funded. Since March 2015, "the estimates are that over 10,000 people have been killed in this conflict and almost 40,000 people injured," UN Humanitarian Co-Ordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said in January. However, a UN report in November 2016 said community-level human rights monitors had reported 11,332 civilian casualties, including 4,125 killed, by the end of October. The coalition launched its offensive with the aim of repelling the rebels and restoring exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to power. Saudi Arabia has denied causing large-scale civilian deaths, saying it is making every effort to avoid hitting civilian targets.1. Yemen is now the world’s largest humanitarian crisisDue to the escalation of conflict in 2015, an estimated 18.8 million people in Yemen need some form of humanitarian assistance or protection.

2. The crisis is entirely man-made

The conflict is taking an enormous toll on Yemen’s civilian population. More than 7,000 people have been killed and more than 42,000 have been injured since the violence escalated just over two years ago. Air strikes and localised fighting have destroyed the economy and moved an already weak and impoverished country towards social, economic and institutional collapse.A medical worker measures a young girl for malnutrition in An-Nassiri village, located 60km from Al Hudaydah. Photo: Giles Clarke/OCHA A medical worker measures a young girl for malnutrition in An-Nassiri village, located 60km from Al Hudaydah Photo: OCHA

3. Yemen is on the brink of famine

Yemenis are facing the world’s largest food security crisis. Some 7 million people do not know where their next meal will come from, and one in every two children is stunted.Three-year-old Kholod stands on a bed shortly after being admitted to the pediatric ward at Al Thawra Hospital. Photo: Giles Clarke/OCHA Three-year-old Kholod stands on a bed shortly after being admitted to the pediatric ward at Al Thawra Hospital Photo: OCHA

4. Millions of people have fled their homes

An estimated 2 million people in Yemen are internally displaced due to the crisis. Many have taken refuge in schools or informal settlements, with limited access to essential services.

5. The conflict has severely disrupted the importation of essential goods into Yemen

Yemen relies on imports for 80 to 90% of its food, fuel and medicine. Al Hudaydah Port -- the country’s main port and a lifeline for 60% of food insecure people -- is operating at partial capacity.

6. The health system is on the verge of collapse

Stocks of medical supplies are dangerously low in Yemen, and many doctors and nurses are working for free or receiving substantially reduced wages. Humanitarians estimate that every 10 minutes, a child under age 5 dies of preventable causes.A brutal conflict is devastating Yemen, where two thirds of the population now need humanitarian assistance or protection in order to survive. Credit: Giles Clarke/OCHA A brutal conflict is devastating Yemen, where two thirds of the population now need humanitarian assistance or protection in order to survive Photo: OCHA

7. Clean water is now a scarce commodity

More than 8 million people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation in Yemen. The population is now at risk of disease outbreaks, such as cholera, dengue and scabies.

8. Women and girls are among the most vulnerable people in the crisis

The crisis is taking a heavy toll on women and girls. They face frightening prospects, including abuse, exploitation and forced marriage. Gender-based violence was prevalent before the crisis, but UNFPA estimates that rates have increased by more than 63% since 2015, meaning that some 2.6 million women and girls are now at risk.

9. The humanitarian community is ready to respond, but it urgently needs financial support and access

Today, some 120 organisations -- including 80 national organisations -- are working tirelessly to respond to the crisis. So far this year, the humanitarian community has reached millions of people with life-saving assistance. But without access to affected people and adequate funding, millions of lives will continue to hang in the balance.
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