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UN Warns of Additional Challenges in Yemen

UN Warns of Additional Challenges in Yemen

Sunday, 24 April, 2022 - 07:30
Displaced Yemeni woman and children in a refugee camp. (OCHA/G.Clarke)

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that the absence of peace and a long-term ceasefire agreement in Yemen will pose additional challenges this year at all levels.

The OHCA underlined in its 2022 overview on Yemen’s humanitarian needs that violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law are likely to continue to cause additional harm to civilian populations and infrastructure.

It stressed that a nationwide ceasefire - and in the long-term a political agreement - is urgently needed to create the conditions for recovery and long-term peace.

Constraints on the humanitarian response will likely continue to be compounded by armed violence and bureaucratic challenges, it said in its report.

Protracted displacement is set to further erode people’s resilience and exacerbate vulnerabilities in displaced as well as host communities.

"As people increasingly resort to negative coping strategies, women and girls will face increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) and other risks, while children will encounter diminished access to education and greater instances of family separation, child recruitment, child marriage, child trafficking, and exploitative forms of labor. "

Other groups such as displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, people with disabilities and older persons are also likely to see their vulnerability increase.

It also expected Yemen’s socioeconomic environment to continue its deterioration in 2022 as a result of shrinking access to income, fuel supply shortages and further depreciation of the rial.

Food supply challenges are also possible as a result of the war in Ukraine, given that Yemen imports a large share of wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

The UN office said these factors will continue to affect the availability, affordability and accessibility of essential goods and services throughout the country.

Seasonal rainfall and flooding will persist in 2022, while other natural hazards also remain threats, it lamented.

The presence of, and capacity to respond to, epidemics and other health risks — including COVID-19 - are expected to continue along similar trends as in 2021, with serious consequences for the physical and mental wellbeing of people across the country.

This will compound the impacts of rising food insecurity and inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services on the prevalence of preventable diseases and malnutrition, which are projected to keep rising in 2022, and which will especially affect women and children.

To prioritize the critical needs identified in the overview, humanitarian partners are currently finalizing the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which is centered on three key strategic objectives, namely reducing morbidity and mortality, improving resilience and living standards and preventing and mitigating protection risks.

The report estimated that 23.4 million people in Yemen require humanitarian assistance in 2022, of whom 12.9 million people are assessed to be in acute need.

The main instigators of the number of people in need are food insecurity and malnutrition, health, water and sanitation needs and protection.

Some 19 million people require food assistance in 2022, including 7.3 million in acute need.

In addition, 21.9 million people need support to access critical health services, while some 17.8 million people will require support to access clean water and basic sanitation needs, the report explained.

It said that some of the highest levels of vulnerability are concentrated in displacement hosting sites, where very few services are available.

Protection needs continue to be high across Yemen especially as the deteriorating humanitarian context incentivizes rising adoption of negative coping strategies.

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