Yemen stands at the historic opportunity for a shift towards lasting peace, said 98 international and national actors delivering humanitarian responses in the country, asserting that the humanitarian community is committed to supporting this shift.
The organizations presented the UN General Assembly with a statement highlighting the ongoing crisis and urgent funding gap, saying that with the hope of peace, there is strong momentum to invest in durable solutions to displacement.
It is positive as the international community must work to support Yemenis to find alternatives to displacement as soon as safe, dignified, and sustainable options become available, it said.
The statement noted that over 21.6 million people, 75 percent of the Yemeni population, struggle with humanitarian needs.
The organizations hoped the forthcoming 2023 Internal Displacement Solutions Fund (IDSF) would prioritize Yemen, alleviating dependence on humanitarian assistance.
They warned that about 17 million people are food insecure, including 6.1 million in the emergency phase under the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).
The statement noted that it signified extreme food shortages and acute malnutrition, primarily affecting women and children, with a risk of hunger-related deaths.
Yemen faces critical water shortages for both agricultural production and human use.
- Urgent needs
Nearly 15.4 million people require safe water and sanitation access to avoid being at risk of cholera and other deadly diseases.
The organizations reported that overcrowded living conditions in camps, low immunization rates, and inaccessibility to many children have increased measles and rubella cases.
The joint statement stated that Yemen's health system continues to crumble under 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 six of ten births occur without a skilled birth attendant.
It also reiterated that mine clearance must be highly prioritized.
Yemen remains one of the world's most contaminated countries, with explosive remnants of war (ERW) leading to death and maiming, particularly children.
Additionally, at least 17.7 million people require protection assistance and services.
Women and girls face increased risks of violence and exploitation while trying to access essential services due to distant, challenging journeys. More than nine million children are at risk and need protection and basic services.
According to the organizations, nearly one in four Yemenis, or over 5.5 million people, suffer from mental health disorders, mainly due to living for years in conflict, and require medical intervention.
- Lack of funding
The organizations warned that funding levels in 2023 will also negatively impact the thriving and active civil society space and their ability to operate.
Increasing quality funding for Yemeni civil society, including women-led organizations, will ensure improved outreach to communities and a positive step towards honoring commitments to localization.
They noted that the country's economy has also been ravaged.
The continued challenges over fuel, weak and contradictory currencies and fiscal policies, and ongoing inflation are impacting the ability of the population to afford essential goods and services, pushing them to resort to irreversible negative coping strategies.
The statement stressed that the international community must, alongside humanitarian assistance, support Yemen by investing in an economic financial package.
It explained that the package would stabilize local currencies, support, and enable commercial import of commodities into the country, and support solutions towards a mechanism to pay civil servant salaries.
The international and national actors within the humanitarian and development communities in Yemen urged donor Member States to urgently consider upscaling quality and flexible humanitarian funding, in line with the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan so that UN, INGOs, and particularly Yemeni civil society organizations.
They concluded that the funding would help meet needs, avoid a regression of gains made towards strengthening the resilience of the people of Yemen, and support them to regain self-reliance.
Yemen's humanitarian response requires an expanded and more diversified number of donors.