Yemen

Aaliyah, a 7-year-old IDP, fetches clean water from a newly rehabilitated water.
Aaliyah, a 7-year-old internally displaced person (IDP), fetches clean water from a newly rehabilitated water point funded by USAID/OFDA and installed by a USAID partner in Sana’a Governorate, Yemen.
USAID partner photo

Key Developments

On December 21 and 22, unidentified actors attacked the compounds of three international non-governmental organizations in southern Yemen’s Ad Dali’ Governorate using rocket-propelled grenades, according to the UN. The attacks injured one security guard and prompted 12 relief organizations to suspend operations in Ad Dali’ due to staff safety concerns, affecting an estimated 217,000 people.

In an unrelated attack, explosions hit Al Raqw market in Sa’dah Governorate’s Monabbih District and resulted in 17 civilian deaths, including 12 Ethiopian nationals, and injured 12 civilians on December 25, the UN reports. The incident is the third attack affecting the market since late November, with the UN reporting nearly 90 cumulative civilian casualties as a result.

Fuel imports through Yemen’s Red Sea ports increased nearly 50 percent from September to November following the easing of Republic of Yemen Government fuel import restrictions, with approximately 191,600 metric tons of fuel discharged in November, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The increase represents a positive development after fuel shortages in September and October disrupted critical services and restricted access to safe drinking water for an estimated 15 million people, according to relief actors.


Background

Between 2004 and early 2015, conflict between the Republic of Yemen Government (RoYG) and Al Houthi opposition forces in the north and between Al Qaeda-affiliated groups and RoYG forces in the south, forced people in northern Yemen to repeatedly flee their homes, resulting in the need for humanitarian aid. At the same time, fighting between RoYG forces and tribal and militant groups since 2011 limited the capacity of the RoYG to provide basic services, and humanitarian needs increased among impoverished populations. In late March 2015, a coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began airstrikes on Al Houthi and allied forces to halt their southward expansion. The ongoing conflict has damaged public infrastructure, interrupted essential services, displaced populations, and reduced the level of commercial imports to a fraction of the levels required to sustain the Yemeni population. The country relies on imports for 90 percent of its grain and other food sources. The escalated conflict, coupled with protracted political instability, the resulting economic crisis, rising fuel and food prices, and high unemployment, has left nearly 19 million people in need of humanitarian aid, and has put more than 17 million people at risk of starvation.

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Last updated: January 06, 2020

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