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UN Facing 'Unprecedented' Aid Funding Shortages in Yemen

UN Facing 'Unprecedented' Aid Funding Shortages in Yemen

Tuesday, 16 August, 2022 - 07:00
Displaced Yemenis receive aids of tents, mattresses and bedding, after their camp was exposed to heavy rain that damaged their tents, in the Khokha district of the country's war-ravaged western province of Hodeidah, on August 12, 2022. (AFP)

The United Nations said its humanitarian agencies are facing the “biggest funding gap ever” in Yemen, warning of the risk of a sharp rise in humanitarian needs across the war-torn country - including the risk of famine in some areas - unless additional funding is secured.

The latest report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that by the end of July the 2022 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) secured $1.24 billion or 29% of the requested $4.27 billion to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection services to 17.9 million people.

“This is the sharpest year-on-year decrease of any UN- coordinated plan in the world, which forced aid agencies to reduce assistance and close programs,” the report revealed.

In June, the World Food Program was forced to cut rations for millions of people as a result of critical funding gaps. That was the second major food cut in just six months.

The lengthy report, which tackled the updated humanitarian situation in Yemen, said all sectors are facing the impact of funding gaps, with lifesaving activities either scaled back or completely ceased in some cases.

By the end of July, a few sectors received about a quarter of the required funding, while many were strikingly under-funded.

With aid agencies facing unprecedented funding shortages, which have already impacted the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance and services to millions of Yemenis, response scale-up to a rapidly deteriorating situation including the impact of flooding is unattainable, the report warned.

The Food Security and Agriculture Cluster received 26% of the required $2.1 billion to provide food assistance to some 17.4 million people, while the health sector was funded 25% of the asked $398 million to deliver health care services to 12.6 million people.

The Nutrition Cluster secured only 23% of $442 million to assist some 6.5 million people with nutritional support.

Meanwhile, the shelter and non-food items, the coordination and common services, the refugees and migrants and the protection sectors were funded at 18%, 16%, 13% and 11%, respectively.

The most under-funded sectors were rapid response mechanism at 0%, education at 4% and water, sanitation and hygiene at 7%.

Funding gaps and subsequent aid reductions or cuts have worsened people’s humanitarian needs in Yemen, the report stressed, adding that mainly women and children are at risk of further aid reduction.

It pointed out that several other critical programs, including maternal and child health support, mine action, protection services, mental health and psycho-social support, and shelter and non-food items assistance to conflict- and disaster-affected and displaced people will be closed.

The UN said that closing these programs will reverse the gains made by aid agencies in 2021, including rolling back the severe hunger that loomed large at the start of the year, and lead to further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

It urged the international community to act quickly and decisively to stop this.

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