Yemen Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #4 FY18

February 9, 2018

Aden clashes result in 39 deaths, halt humanitarian activities

2018 Yemen HRP requests nearly $3 billion

KSA-led Coalition launches relief and development plan for Yemen, pledges $1.5 billion in support

Four mobile cranes arrive at AlHudaydah Port to bolster port capacity

Numbers At A Glance

29.3 million

Population of Yemen

22.2 million

People in Need of Humanitarian Assistance

2 million

IDPs in Yemen

17.8 million

Food-Insecure People

16.4 million

People Lacking Adequate Access to Health Care

16 million

People Lacking Access to Basic Water and Sanitation

9.9 million

People Reached with Humanitarian Assistance in 2017

Humanitarian Funding

For the Yemen Response in
FY 2017

USAID/OFDA $229,783,475
USAID/FFP $499,626,445
State/PRM $38,125,000
TOTAL $767,534,920

From January 28–30, clashes between armed separatist groups and Republic of Yemen Government (RoYG) forces in Yemen’s port city of Aden resulted in at least 39 deaths,injured more than 220 people, and prompted the temporary suspension of commercialand humanitarian activities in the city.

The UN and humanitarian partners launched the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) on January 20, requesting nearly $3 billion to provide life-saving assistance to13.1 million vulnerable people. The 2018 Yemen HRP ranks as the largest humanitarianappeal globally and represents an approximately 26 percent increase in fundingrequirements compared to 2017.

On January 22, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)-led Coalition launched the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations (YCHO) plan, pledging more than $1.5 billionto support humanitarian operations and infrastructure improvements in Yemen. TheCoalition also extended the opening of Al Hudaydah Port to commercial and humanitarian vessels until mid-February. Humanitarian actors welcomed Coalition plansto increase the capacity of Yemeni ports, while continuing to appeal for unrestrictedaccess to all ports and alignment of Coalition response activities with the HRP.

Four USAID-supported mobile cranes arrived at Al Hudaydah Port on January 15 aboardthe UN World Food Program (WFP)-chartered MV Juist, and began operating onFebruary 9. The cranes, each able to lift up to 60 tons, will decrease the cargo dischargetime, bolstering port capacity and increasing the flow of goods to vulnerable populations.

Coinciding with the launch of the YCHO, the KSA-led Coalition announced a second 30-day extension of the opening of Al Hudaydah Port to commercial and humanitarian shipments, effective through mid-February. Between late November and January 30, a total of 44 vessels discharged cargo at Yemen’s Al Hudaydah and Al Saleef Red Sea ports, including three vessels carrying humanitarian food and medical supplies. Despite modest improvements since December, current food and fuel import levels are insufficient to meet projected countrywide needs and basic commodity prices remain higher than before the November 6 port closures, according to the UN.

Port restrictions have compounded the humanitarian impact of ongoing conflict in Yemen and further strained the country’s economy, hindering the ability of vulnerable populations to purchase basic commodities; worsening food security conditions; and increasing reliance on humanitarian assistance, according to a late January report by the UN Development Program (UNDP). Conflict-related infrastructure damage and supply chain disruptions resulting from the port restrictions have also impeded public electrical, health care, and water services, resulting in rising unemployment, loss of income sources, and increased essential market commodity prices, UNDP reports. In addition, import constraints and continued fighting have forced conflict-affected populations to resort to negative coping measures and increased child protection risks, such as early marriage, forced labor, and recruitment by armed groups.

From January 28–30, fighting in Aden between armed separatist groups and RoYG forces resulted in at least 39 deaths, injured more than 220 people, and forced the closure of Aden International Airport, as well as schools and shops. Violence had subsided by January 31, enabling the resumption of some relief operations and commercial activities.

The late January clashes delayed distribution of approximately 9,000 metric tons (MT) of food by USAID/FFP partner WFP and the transportation of medical supplies to hospitals in neighboring Ta’izz Governorate. State/PRM partner the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also reported a temporary suspension of aid deliveries to Aden.

On January 30, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, a.i., Stephen Anderson released a statement condemning the violence and calling on parties to the conflict to cease fighting, protect civilians, and ensure safe, unimpeded, and rapid access for humanitarian personnel and supplies.

Conflict in Al Hudaydah and Ta’izz governorates has displaced approximately 47,000 people to Aden and other southern governorates since early December, the UN reports.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 1,057,300 suspected cholera cases, including 2,255 related deaths, between late April 2017 and February 8, 2018. The nearly 30,000 suspected cholera cases recorded in January represent approximately 60 and 40 percent decreases from the number of cases reported in November and December, respectively. In response to a continued decrease in the weekly number of new suspected cases, USAID/OFDA partners, including WHO, are scaling down cholera treatment centers (CTCs) and oral rehydration centers (ORCs); however, WHO maintains the capacity to restart the centers within 24 hours if necessary. The UN agency currently supports more than 200 CTCs and 800 ORCs across Yemen. As cholera is endemic to Yemen, USAID/OFDA partners are prepositioning supplies and equipping health facilities in preparation for a potential cholera resurgence during the July-to-September rainy season.

Health authorities reported nearly 1,000 suspected cases of diphtheria—a preventable, highly infectious respiratory disease—and 64 associated deaths across 20 governorates between mid-August 2017 and early February 2018, the RoYG Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) reports. While the outbreak continues to spread, Al Hudaydah and Ibb remain the most-affected governorates, accounting for more than 55 percent of the caseload. As of February 8, the MoPHP had yet to initiate diphtheria vaccination activities, despite receiving adequate vaccine supplies in late December.

In January, a USAID/OFDA partner treated approximately 1,200 acute watery diarrhea patients across Al Mahwit and Sana’a governorates and distributed cholera prevention kits to discharged patients. Additionally, the partner—in coordination with the Sana’a Governorate Health Office—supported the training of more than 60 health workers on cholera and diphtheria prevention activities and conducted hygiene promotion and cholera prevention awareness sessions for households in the two governorates.

From December 31 to January 6, a USAID/OFDA partner provided more than 5,800 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in seven governorates with health and psychosocial support services through 16 mobile health clinics and two health facilities. The partner also rehabilitated water networks in Sana’a to deliver safe drinking water to more than 5,300 conflict-affected people.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund—a pooled humanitarian fund established and managed by the UN to support sudden-onset and underfunded emergencies—recently allocated $9.1 million to WHO in support of emergency health assistance for approximately 630,000 vulnerable people in Al Hudaydah and Sana’a, including 189,000 IDPs and 441,000 host community members. Nearly half of Yemen’s health care facilities are not fully functional, and approximately 16.4 million people in Yemen lack access to adequate health care, with 9.3 million people in acute need, the UN reports.

Food and fuel prices in Yemeni markets increased throughout November and December as a result of unpredictable port access and escalated insecurity, according to WFP. The average cost of the monthly minimum food basket—which comprises basic food commodities sufficient to feed a household of seven for one month—in December increased by nearly 4 percent from November and 12 percent from October. Similarly, the price of diesel, petrol, and cooking gas increased by 10 percent, 8 percent, and 3 percent, respectively, in December compared to November prices. The governorates most affected by insufficient fuel and resultant higher prices included Amanat al-Asimah, Al Bayda’, Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Sa’dah, Sana’a, Shabwah, and Ta’izz, all of which experienced active conflict and intensified airstrikes in December.

By late January, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) noted decreased prices and increased availability of food and fuel in local markets compared to November and December when access to Al Hudaydah Port was restricted. However, FEWS NET notes that sustained food and fuel imports into Yemen remain necessary to prevent Famine—IPC 5—levels of acute food insecurity in highly vulnerable areas, particularly as households exhaust coping capacities and the Yemeni riyal further depreciates.4 In 2017, the Yemeni riyal depreciated by approximately 49 percent, according to the UN.

In January, USAID/FFP partner WFP provided in-kind food rations to approximately 6.3 million people and food vouchers to approximately 650,000 people. Beginning in February, WFP increased its food assistance target from 7 million to 7.4 million people in response to rising needs; Yemen’s food-insecure population grew by approximately 700,000 people during 2017. According to the 2018 Yemen HNO, approximately 17.8 million people—more than 61 percent of Yemen’s population—experience acute food insecurity.

Additionally, USAID/OFDA partners admitted more than 310 children and pregnant or lactating women for moderate acute malnutrition treatment and provided nutrition education to more than 880 people in Aden and Lahij governorate during January.

Four USAID-supported mobile cranes arrived at Al Hudaydah Port on January 15 aboard the WFP-chartered MV Juist, and began facilitating discharge of food commodities on February 9. The cranes, each able to lift up to 60 tons, will decrease the discharge time for unloading commercial and humanitarian cargo from approximately seven to as few as three days, bolstering the port’s capacity and increasing the flow of goods to vulnerable populations.

The 2018 Yemen HRP, released on January 20, requests nearly $3 billion to provide life-saving assistance to 13.1 million people throughout the year, marking Yemen’s largest humanitarian appeal to date and the largest appeal globally in 2018. Overall, approximately 22.2 million people—75 percent of Yemen’s population—will require humanitarian assistance in 2018, representing an 18 percent increase compared to 2017. As of February 9, donors had contributed approximately $95 million, or 3 percent, towards the 2018 funding appeal.

On January 22, the KSA-led Coalition launched the YCHO, an expanded relief initiative that pledges more than $1.5 billion from Coalition countries in support of the humanitarian response in Yemen. The YCHO aims to increase the capacity of Yemeni ports to receive commercial and humanitarian imports and improve road infrastructure to facilitate overland transportation of goods. In line with YCHO commitments, the KSA-led Coalition announced plans on February 5 to supply Yemeni ports with four cranes—one crane at Aden Port, two cranes at Mokha Port, and one crane at Mukalla Port—to facilitate the flow of imports into Yemen. In 2017, the KSA provided nearly $59 million toward the HRP, accounting for approximately 39 percent of the $150 million pledged by the KSA during the April 2017 HRP pledging conference.

Between 2004 and early 2015, conflict between RoYG and Al Houthi opposition forces in the north and between Al Qaeda-affiliated groups and RoYG forces in the south affected more than 1 million people and repeatedly displaced populations in northern Yemen, resulting in humanitarian needs. 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. The expansion of Al Houthi forces in 2014 and 2015 resulted in the renewal and escalation of conflict and displacement, further exacerbating already deteriorated humanitarian conditions.

In March 2015, the KSA-led Coalition began airstrikes on Al Houthi and allied forces to halt their southward expansion. The ongoing conflict has damaged or destroyed public infrastructure, interrupted essential services, and reduced 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.

Since March 2015, the escalated conflict, coupled with protracted political instability, the resulting economic crisis, rising fuel and food prices, and high unemployment, has left more than 17.8 million people food-insecure and more than 22.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. In addition, the conflict had displaced nearly 3 million people, including more than 900,000 people who had returned to areas of origin, as of September 2017. The volatility of the current situation prevents relief agencies from obtaining accurate, comprehensive demographic information.

In late April 2017, a cholera outbreak that began in October 2016 resurged, necessitating intensive humanitarian response efforts throughout the country, particularly health and WASH interventions. The USG is supporting partners to respond to increased humanitarian needs resulting from the cholera outbreak.

On October 24, 2017, U.S. Ambassador Matthew H. Tueller re-issued a disaster declaration for the ongoing complex emergency in Yemen for FY 2018 due to continued humanitarian needs resulting from the complex emergency and the impact of the country’s political and economic crises on vulnerable populations.

The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for disaster responses around the world can be found at

USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.

More information can be found at:
- USAID Center for International Disaster Information: or +1.202.821.1999.
- Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at

Last updated: February 26, 2018

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