YEMEN: A crisis with unprecedented humanitarian consequences

Published on Wednesday 2 August 2017

SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has sounded the alarm on the catastrophic situation in Yemen, where the last two years have seen a conflict with unprecedented humanitarian consequences. A forgotten crisis, away from all eyes, the war in Yemen has already made more than 10,000 victims. It has thrown 2.2 million people out of their homes and more than 20 million into misery, with no other hope but humanitarian aid.

A country under the threat of famine

Like Nigeria, South Sudan or Somalia, Yemen is facing an unprecedented food crisis. 17 million people, approximately the population of the Netherlands, are in urgent need of food aid, including 7 million under the threat of famine. Children, as well as pregnant and lactating women, are particularly vulnerable. 2.3 million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, including 462,000 who may die if they do not receive immediate assistance. “The docks are closed, the country is cut in half and access to remote areas is particularly difficult for aid agencies. Without access and minimal funding, the efforts made by our teams will be vain,” insists SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL Director of Operations Alexandre Giraud.

70% of Yemen’s population lacks access to water

16 million people are in need of assistance in terms of access to water. “More than half the people have no access to clean water close to their home. Some need to walk two hours or more to find a well,” describes Saara Bouhouche, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL Emergency Head of Mission, who has just got back from Yemen. “Uncovered and insecure wells usually contain contaminated water, which causes water-related diseases such as cholera, and contributes to malnutrition. On the occasions where water is available, when it is delivered in trucks for instance, it is not free. This is a severe hindrance for displaced populations who have nothing.”

The world’s worst cholera outbreak

Added to an apparently endless war, the most serious and deadly cholera epidemic in the world is striking the country. 384,719 cases have been recorded and 1,858 people have died in the last three months. “Drinking water is severely lacking, and unsafe water is killing people. Sanitation services are not running and trash is piling up in the streets. The entire population can be exposed to cholera if the rights measures are not taken quickly,” warns Andrea Angioletti, Emergency Water, sanitation and hygiene coordinator, who conducted an assessment in the country.

The lack of funding limits the presence of aid agencies

In the south of the country, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL’s Emergency teams have noticed a blatant lack of coverage of the populations’ most basic needs. Populations, who have already been suffering from war, are now in urgent need of drinking water, food, and shelter. “Support from the donors is crucial for new humanitarian actors to enter the country and alleviate the burden carried by those already present. We are asking States, headed by the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom, to meet their words with action,” demands Jean-Yves Troy, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL General Director.

SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL teams are available to speak out about the situation in Yemen

For all interview requests
Tugdual de Dieuleveult – Press Relations Manager
+33 (0) 6 64 92 50 37 – tdedieuleveult@solidarites.org