Ongoing violence in Taiz, Marib, Al-Bayda, Hodeidah, Shabwah, Al-Jawf and Hajjah has forced more than 157,500 people to be displaced in 2021 alone, adding to more than 3.3 million people who remain displaced across Yemen. Thousands of vulnerable families in these areas, partly due to their fragile economic status, have no choice but to stay there, living alongside the daily vagaries of the active frontline, including access alarmingly limited to all basic needs.
Residents of Taiz, Yemen’s oldest battleground, have borne the brunt of the protracted conflict since it began in 2015. The violence has depleted the population who could not flee. “There is always the sound of clashes, bombardments, explosions in the background. The walls of the house are frequently bombarded,” said Majida, a 40-year-old widow and mother of three living in the northern part of the city of Taiz. “We cannot afford to leave the area and rent a safer place. I have no choice but to stay and live in a constant state of fear for the safety of my children. she added.
In a country where food insecurity already threatens more than 16.2 million people, the severity of food and water needs is dangerously acute in Taiz and other neighboring areas heavily affected by ongoing violence. The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine is likely to further reduce people’s access to basic needs, as it risks increasing food prices, especially the cost of grain, even as fuel prices rise in the world. Over the past year, food prices have soared across Yemen, leaving more than half of the country in need of food assistance.
Access to other basic needs such as basic health care is dangerously limited in these areas. Access to health structures has become a luxury. “My daughters are in critical need of periodic medical follow-up. To take them to the nearest hospital, you have to pay extra for transport because the drivers are not willing to come to our neighborhood for security reasons. », Majeda added. In Yemen, 20.1 million people, out of a total population of 30.5 million, do not have access to basic health care. And only 51% of health facilities are in service.
Ongoing clashes and shelling in frontline neighborhoods in Taiz have led to widespread mental health issues among residents, especially children. “When the shells fall on our neighborhood, our children desperately cling to our clothes and scream. Many people have lost their minds after seven years of living in areas where clashes and shelling have become part of our daily lives,” he added. said Om Said. She added: “Our greatest hope is to get a sack of flour and a blanket.”
The presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) poses a significant danger to the people of Yemen, but contamination is particularly high along the western coast of Yemen, near the strategic port of Hodeidah, in the governorate of Taiz. and more recently around Marib. According to reports, there are more than one million landmines and unexploded ordnance scattered across the country, killing and injuring civilians daily.
Humanitarian needs in the country remain huge, as two-thirds of the population are currently in need of humanitarian assistance “The severity of the needs is getting worse every minute. Today, 14.3 million people have acute needs, 27% more than last year,” said Katharina Ritz, head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen.
The stakes are high ahead of the international donors’ conference in Yemen, and the ICRC urges the international community to step up its response.
In 2021, the high-level event on Yemen announced a target of around $1.7 billion. This was less than the total received for the humanitarian response plan in 2020, and a billion dollars less than what was pledged at the conference held in 2019. The ICRC urges the international community to continue funding actors humanitarian organizations like the ICRC so that people in Yemen can be better assisted in areas such as food, health care, drinking water and protection.
“As the humanitarian situation worsens, the reduction in assistance will be a life-saving issue for millions of families across Yemen. A further cut in funding will have a direct impact on people’s lives and our ability to sustainably provide them with life-saving aid,” he added. said Mrs. Ritz.
For more information please contact:
Basheer Omar (Sanaa) [email protected] +967 737889476 and/or +967 771 480 412
Imene Trabelsi (Beirut) [email protected] +961 3 138 353
Jason Straziuso (Geneva) [email protected] +41227302077
Notes for editors:
The ICRC in Yemen: facts and figures:
- The ICRC provided various forms of relief to more than 1,603,605 people in 2021.
- 5 million people have benefited from ICRC WatHab activities in different parts of the country.
- The ICRC provides medical supplies, equipment and medicines to 48 hospitals, 3 dialysis centers and 36 primary health care clinics across Yemen.
- The ICRC supports the treatment of tens of thousands of war-wounded each year and provides services to more than 54,000 people with disabilities.
- The ICRC supports degree programs in prosthetics and orthotics in partnership with the Higher Institute of Health Sciences for 10 students (3 years) and offers scholarships to 25 students to pursue bachelor’s degrees in the field.
- In 2021, the ICRC facilitated the reunification of 17 minors with their family members.
- The ICRC carried out 31 detention visits to 16 places of detention across the country to ensure that detainees have adequate living conditions, can contact their families and are treated with dignity at all times, reaching some 20,000 detainees.
Food insecurity in Yemen:
- Seven years after the conflict, depleted financial resources and savings, a collapsing economy, high inflation and unemployment rates and soaring commodity prices, leaving an estimated 20 million people in dire straits. food insecurity.
- Malnutrition rates among women and children in Yemen remain among the highest in the world, with 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women and 2.3 million children under 5 requiring treatment for acute malnutrition .
- 2 million people suffering from hunger, including some 5 million people on the brink of famine and nearly 50,000 people already living in near-famine conditions. An estimated 20 million people cannot find or afford enough food in Yemen today, with 3.2 million children and women suffering from acute malnutrition.
ICRC response on the west coast of Yemen:
- The ICRC continues to support 6 health structures, including two hospitals, with medical equipment to be able to treat the war-wounded.
- The ICRC continues to support vital infrastructure in parts of Taiz governorate to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the protracted conflict.
- The ICRC continues to distribute food, non-food items and cash to people affected by the protracted conflict in Taiz governorate.
- The ICRC has provided Taiz Central Prison with 20,000 liters of water per day, 1,740 m3 in 2021, benefiting 900 detainees.
- The ICRC continues to support the physical rehabilitation center in the city of Taiz by providing equipment and incentives to its staff.
- The ICRC has opened an office in the town of Al-Turbah, Taiz governorate, to ensure adequate proximity to the affected population in the governorate.