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Humanitarian crisis in Yemen

Budget/funding, Emergencies, News/feature, Ireland, 2015
Oxfam Yemen Goats

Oxfam are providing livestock, fodder and veterinary support to 70 groups in Yemen as a key survival strategy

Yemen is facing a growing humanitarian crisis, as violence continues to threaten people’s livelihoods and their access to basic services. Irish Aid has been responding to the many problems facing Yemen’s vulnerable population.

Even before the latest escalation in violence, 60% of the population in Yemen were in need of humanitarian assistance and half the population did not have access to clean water. Amid escalating violence, these humanitarian needs are now growing rapidly.   Over 1400 people, many of them women and children, have been killed in the recent violence, and over 6,000 wounded.

The number of food insecure people in Yemen has increased from 10.6 million people to 12 million (46% of the population); and the UN estimates that due to the outbreak of violence, the number of displaced people has doubled to 300,000. Lack of fuel and power has also triggered a breakdown in basic water and sanitation services and is preventing the delivery of vital food aid. The collapse of access to healthcare has facilitated the spread of epidemic diseases, with suspected outbreaks of measles, dengue fever, and meningitis.

In keeping with our focus on neglected and forgotten crises, Irish Aid will closely monitor the situation in Yemen with the help of our UN, Red Cross and NGO partners

A group of 22 major aid agencies in Yemen has warned that their life-saving assistance risks coming to an abrupt end within a week unless land, sea and air routes are opened immediately for fuel to be imported. The aid agencies have warned that “millions of lives are at risk, in particular children, and soon we will not be able to respond.”

Earlier this year, Irish Aid provided €500,000 to the UN Humanitarian Pooled Fund in Yemen.  The Humanitarian Pooled Fund provides rapid, flexible funding to NGOs and UN agencies which have the best capacity to deliver services on the ground.  Services cover a range of different sectors including health, water and sanitation, nutrition and education.

Irish Aid has most recently provided €100,000 to Oxfam Ireland to assist displaced people through a cash transfer programme. The conflict has led to price increases of up to 40%, so many people can no longer afford basic food and non-food items. The cash transfer programme allows displaced people to meet their basic needs, and to prioritise according to their own particular circumstances. In addition, the cash transfers provide a vital boost to local markets and traders, ensuring that the local market and financial system do not collapse. Oxfam has been active in cash transfers in Yemen since 2012, and has reached almost 28,000 people since the airstrikes started.

Irish Aid also provides core funding to the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), which has a track record of working in hard-to-reach areas of Yemen, and which is providing medical assistance to those affected by the conflict in very difficult circumstances.

In keeping with Ireland’s commitment to neglected and forgotten crises, Irish Aid will continue to closely monitor the situation in Yemen with the help of our UN, Red Cross and NGO partners. Irish Aid is committed to continue to work with our partners to assist those most vulnerable in the conflict.

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